The Uganda Network of Young People living with HIV (UNYPA) is pleased to inform the public of the just concluded campaign “Y+ Beauty Pageant” where National ambassadors that will lead the fight against stigma and discrimination in their communities, work spaces, schools and global platforms were chosen on Friday, 23rd November, in an event dubbed the grand finale at the Sheraton Hotel.
The Y+ Beauty Pageant is an annual campaign envisioned on “Beauty With Zero Discrimination”. The main essence of pioneering this campaign is to fight stigma and discrimination among young people living with and affected by HIV.
Young people continuously face frustrations that come from stigma and discrimination from families, schools and general public. This in the long run affects their uptake of HIV services from health centres, adherence, and they then become fearful to disclose their status. UNYPA therefore uses the Y+ Beauty Pageant as a tool to uplift the plight of YPLHIV, re-echo their voices and work together with partners to build a strong, energetic, creative, and productive generation.
During the World AIDS day celebrations last year, President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched “The Presidential Fast-track Initiative on ending HIV&AIDS in Uganda by 2030.” The initiative spells out plans to tackle HIV &AIDS in Uganda through a five point plan to; Engage men in HIV prevention and close the tap on new infections particularly among adolescent girls and young women; Accelerate implementation of Test and Treat and attainment of 90-90-90 targets particularly among men and young people; Consolidate progress on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV; Ensure financial sustainability for the HIV response; and Ensuring institutional effectiveness for a well-coordinated multi-sectoral response.
The Y+ beauty pageant gives a platform to young people living with HIV to be able to be voices to the voiceless, pillars of boldness and strength to those still afraid of HIV testing, as well as testimonies of assurance that acquiring HIV is not the end of life. The ambassadors then become a network of young people confronting HIV with bold steps, and therefore working towards ousting it by 2030, as the vision of Uganda is.