Young people will be making sure their voices are heard at AIDS2012. Over previous AIDS Conferences, Young People have comprised one of the most vocal and visible groups that attend the conference. HIV significantly affects young people. In the U.S., people aged 13 to 29 accounted for 39% of new HIV infections in 2009. Globally, an estimated 3,300 young people between 15 and 24 become infected each day.
The aim of the AIDS 2012 Youth Programme is to strengthen the participation and profile of Youth at AIDS 2012. The Youth Pavilion in the Global Village (a community space open to conference delegates and the general public free of charge), will serve as the main arena for youth activity, development and networking. The larger conference program will also feature sessions with a particular focus on key issues affecting young people.
Another part of participation of young people is The Washington, D.C. YouthForce, a coalition of International and domestic youth organizations that work together to leverage the presence of young people at the International AIDS Conference. Since its inception in 2004, over 1,500 young people have participated in conference planning. In addition, the main even of the YouthForce, its pre-conference, seeks to provide the latest information and intensive training on the HIV andAIDS epidemic, vaccine trials, advocacy strategies, and media skills to approximately 250 young people.
The Youth Programme will be developing a pocket guide and smartphone application listing all youth-related activities and relevant sessions will be available before and during the conference.
Throughout the week, rapporteurs will attend youth-themed sessions and events, and a summary report on the week’s major developments will be presented before the closing session on Friday.
The latest updates on the AIDS 2012 Youth Programme can be found on Twitter (@youthaids2012 ) Tumblr and Facebook.