It is a great honor to be an adult ally of this amazing coalition of young people from all parts of the world, who are uniting in new and unique ways to address HIV/AIDS. Please see the website for more details of programs in each location, and join in the GYCA's work by becoming a member. Subscribe to the main eforum: gyca-subscribe@....
Thanks so much, and hope we all continue to "take the lead" in prevention, education, mitigation, and eradication efforts related to this terrible pandemic! Janet Feldman (KAIPPG International, ActALIVE Arts Coalition, kaippg@...)
Young Leaders Organize against HIV in 34 Countries for World AIDS Day, December 1
NEW YORK, NY -- HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today, and young people remain at the center of the epidemic in terms of infection rates and potential for change. This World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2007, members of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) are organizing 104 events in 34 countries to highlight the pressing need to build youth leadership and to listen to the voices of young leaders fighting HIV and AIDS in their communities.
GYCA events, organized in partnership with the World AIDS Campaign's "Take the Lead" World AIDS Day initiative, include concerts, workshops, rallies and more. In Ghana, Moses Kanduri will coordinate a series of soccer matches under the theme "Kick HIV Out!" and distribute information on HIV prevention to onlookers and players.
In Venezuela, Jhon Esteban will hold a workshop for teenagers to get their input and involvement in the local government's planned project to fight HIV. In Macedonia, Miodraga Stefanovska and a group of young peer leaders and their parents will decorate public Christmas trees with messages about HIV prevention and the importance of open communication around sexuality and health.
According to GYCA National Focal Point Yahya Poli of Tanzania, World AIDS Day events are key opportunities to increase public awareness. "Youth and the community at large need a space where they can freely share information, knowledge and experiences about HIV," he said.
GYCA National Focal Point Esther Eshiet of Nigeria, a peer educator who teaches other girls about sexuality, health and HIV, added, "Youth leadership is what we need to make actual progress! Since we are the worst hit, we have to take the lead to stamp out the virus."
Young people are particularly affected by HIV and AIDS � about 40% of the 2.5 million new infections each year occur in people aged 15 to 24. Yet young leaders are also uniting to inspire others from our generation to take action against HIV and AIDS on our own terms - through street theater, care for AIDS orphans, peer education and work with young injecting drug users.
Young people must be supported with the training, funding and leadership opportunities that will enable youth to truly "Take the Lead" in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
GYCA World AIDS Day gatherings are currently planned for Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, C?te d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Macedonia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, United States, Vietnam, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Please visit www.youthaidscoalition.org/activities.html
for more information on locations, times and event descriptions.
The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) is an alliance of 3,000 young leaders and adult allies in over 150 countries working on HIV and AIDS. For more information, please visit www.youthaidscoalition.org
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Latest GYCA Newsletter (October 2007):