"I commit to empower youth directly in the decision-making process at City Hall, including in preparation for Mexico City AIDS 2008."

– David Miller, Mayor for City of Toronto (Canada)

Youth Pocketbook Guide to Navigating International AIDS Conferences

Youth Pocket Guide
(PDF, 2.4MB)

» Pre-Conference
August 10-12

» Youth Opening & Reception
August 12

» From Rhetoric to Action, Youth Leadership Session
August 13

» Youth Delegate Welcome & Orientation
August 13

» Youth Pavilion Launch
August 13

» Youth-Adult Commitments Desk
August 13-17

» Daily Youth Orientation and Planning Breakfast Sessions
August 14-17

» Youth Closing Session
August 17

» More AIDS 2006 Youth-Related Sessions
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discussion board

» Get Revivo!!! The No.1 Supplement for people living with HIV/AIDS by revivotea04
2009-01-02 05:26:12

» AIDS Prevention and Education by VIBEAC
2006-12-26 17:39:31 (Mexico)

» WUSC Online Discussion - Youth Initiatives & The Way Forward by ryancho
2006-08-16 13:56:25 (Canada)

» WUSC Online Discussion - Intercultural Perceptions by ryancho
2006-08-16 13:44:39 (Canada)

» WUSC Online Discussion - The Pros & Cons of ARVs by ryancho
2006-08-13 16:39:06 (Canada)

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: What's New!
OCTOBER 6, 2006

Read the final TaskForce Reports!:
» Advocacy (DOC, 0.14MB)
» Commitments Desk (DOC, 1.76MB)
» Media & Communications (DOC, 0.11MB)
» Pre-Conference (DOC, 0.52MB)

AUGUST 16, 2006
"I know more about the YouthForce than anything else at the Conference"
-Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director UNAIDS

_______________________________________________ Positive Youth Mobilize to Demand Action

Yesterday afternoon, five youth living with HIV/AIDS gathered in a forum to not only share their experiences from different parts of the world – but to create an action plan for their voices to be heard.

Though it became clear that each of their stories were quite unique – there were common elements that demanded attention to sensitize society with the realities youth people living with HIV/AIDS. From the human rights perspective of living with HIV/AIDS, to the elimination of stigma and discrimination and access to funding – the youth made it clear that it was time to deliver on providing solutions to these wide array of challenges.

Alex McClelland, Youth Coordinator for the Conference moderated the session. Natasha Yong first spoke on her personal experience on how she discovered that she was HIV-positive accidentally, after donating blood at school in Singapore eight years ago. Despite, the conference’s attention to promoting access to testing, Yong challenged people to think about how “it’s just not right for people to be able to test for HIV if they don’t have access to treatment,” making reference to the great number of people in remote communities in Asia.

Marco Gomes, a Canadian living with HIV also highlighted the vital importance of funding in order to give HIV-positive youth access to treatment, peer-education and support networks. While Henry Luyombya stressed “When we test positive, we go into hiding and it allows HIV/AIDS to spread underground”, reinforcing the importance of not allowing HIV-positive youth to be pushed into the background.

Makoti Edwin challenged society by stating, “I don’t believe in stigma and discrimination because the people I tell are going to learn something from me.” As the chairperson for the Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS, Edwin pushed strongly for the need to enhance the optimism in positivity – and not a cause of shame.

Perhaps even stronger than the powerful words delivered by the panel of HIV-positive youth was their concrete measures in moving forward on how to actively engage with policymakers and decision-makers. The group concluded that a new coalition of young positive people needs to be formed to address their specific needs with GNP+. They also needed to mobilize for Mexico 2008 and have a greater voice and dialogue with bilateral and multilateral leaders to address their specific needs and challenges.

- Hannah Renglich, Kayley Harrington

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Toronto Youth Force ambassadors from around the world gathered on Thursday August 10 at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine for the AIDS 2006 Youth Pre-Conference. The purpose of this event was to ensure successful youth participation during the AIDS 2006 Conference to be held at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre August 13-18, 2006 in Toronto, Canada.

Youth Ambassadors were brought together to help figure out what can be done collectively to reach a 2005 target whereby 90% of youth worldwide would be knowledgeable of HIV transmission.

Current UNAIDS statistics report only 1 in 3 young men and 1 in 5 young women have knowledge of how to prevent HIV transmission. “We are alive today and we need to create some change”, said Mary Otieno, Technical Advisor on Young People and HIV/AIDS for UNFPA.

The goal of the Toronto Youth Taskforce for the AIDS 2006 conference is to facilitate the collaboration of stakeholders committed to HIV/AIDS issues and to empower youth to be effective participants in the conference.

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Vianou François Godonou
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United States
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Trinidad & Tobago
Former President of Ireland and UN official, Mary Robinson, relates a moving experience....

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United States
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