AIDS-2018 hosted the first session devoted to the problems of adolescents living with HIV
On the second day of the International AIDS Conference, AIDS-2018, which is now taking place in Amsterdam, the first ever session of the events was held, fully dedicated to the problems of adolescents living with HIV.
The event took place in an unusual manner. Young people - representatives of different countries of the world, answered the questions of the moderator, the famous American actress Charlize Theron. During the session, she also addressed the audience, wanting to know the opinion of the teenagers sitting in the front rows.
Young people from the United States, the Netherlands, Ukraine, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and other countries (11-12) presented their vision of the epidemic and told how they expect support from the international community.
All of them, representatives of various human rights and patient organizations, activists working with their peers, were unanimous in their opinion about the need to give young people more freedom, more opportunities to choose programs, develop strategies, address HIV-related problems and specifically concern their generation.
It is important that young people can implement their own projects, young activists believe. In addition, they add, adolescents and young adults should have the right to veto programs related to their health, their lives.
"Do not talk about us, talk to us," stressed Daniil Stolbunov, a representative from Ukraine and the Teenergizer youth organization.
The guys are convinced that one of the key aspects of working with young people today is to be properly delivered sexual education. And this applies not only to schools and teenagers, but also to adults and their parents.
"We need to talk about HIV in context, affecting all aspects of sexual health. We are not afraid to talk about this, "the representative of the Netherlands noted during the session.
The problem of HIV is, to a large extent, the problem of sexuality and tabooing of the sexual life of adolescents. To solve it, the girl thinks,
"it is necessary to work ahead of the curve, talk about sexuality. We need to act in a comprehensive, proactive manner. It is not right to choose point measures, it is important to work systematically. Young must provide services to the young. "
Discrimination and stigmatization should be an extremely important aspect in this regard. Far from all regions of the world talk about HIV and sexual health openly. It is necessary to solve this problem, to talk more about it.
Another equally important issue should be the problem of sufficient motivation for the treatment of young people. This is an aspect of the development of psychosocial, personal support, increased funding, government attention to the problems of children and adolescents.
"HIV intersects with many other aspects of our lives. Here we need financial, psychological support. This is the only way we can defeat HIV. [...] We do not live in isolation, we can not ignore our desires. It's good, when people talk about it. "
The topic "peer-to-peer" was the leitmotif of almost every participant of the "interview". Young activists are convinced that only their direct involvement in developing advanced HIV prevention and treatment programs, drawing up and implementing educational programs, coordinating projects and rendering services to peers can change the situation for the better.