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Global Youth Partners Brochure

Young people are and will remain at the front lines of combating the global AIDS pandemic; however, we can and must do more. We must be bold and assume leadership in breaking the conspiracy of silence and shame that drives AIDS underground and stigmatizes [people living with HIV/AIDS].

Youth Position Paper on the 2001 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS

Global Youth Partners

Advocating for increased access by young people to information, education and services in the area of HIV prevention

In September 2003, a group of 38 young people between the ages of 15 and 26 from 27 countries around the world founded Global Youth Partners (GYP). The Initiative, which is youth-driven with support from UNFPA, aims to rally partners and stakeholders to increase investment and strengthen commitments for preventing HIV infections among young people, especially among under-served youth.

Young people and HIV/AIDS

Young people are hit hard by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Over half of all new infections worldwide are among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Every day, 6,000 young people become infected with HIV – more than five every minute.
Young people often lack access to essential information on HIV/AIDS and the means to protect themselves from the virus.
HIV is preventable and prevention works. The returns on preventing infections among young people are enormous.
Young people’s enthusiasm, creativity and adaptability make them an essential partner with a vital role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Real changes come about when young people are able to identify the issues of primary concern to them and are empowered to develop, implement and manage youth-owned strategies, activities, networks, organisations and campaigns.
Young people should be protagonists in the fight against AIDS, not mere spectators.

Young people are key to defeating the HIV/AIDS pandemic

Young people need to be placed at the centre of the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There is no age restriction for leadership. Young people are assets, not liabilities, their voices need to be heard and their talents cultivated so they can be instruments for change. Combating HIV/AIDS among young people is at the heart of the international response outlined in the 2001 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.

The Declaration calls upon Member States to:
“By 2005, ensure that at least 90 per cent, and by 2010 at least 95 per cent of young men and women aged 15 to 24 have access to the information, education, including peer education and youth-specific HIV/AIDS education, and services necessary to develop the life skills required to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection, in full partnership with young persons, parents, families, educators and health-care providers.”
(Article 53, Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, UNGASS, June 2001)

Four of the targets outlined in the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment are also indicators for measuring the implementation of the MDGs:

  • Knowledge about HIV/AIDS among young people
  • Condom use among young people
  • Current school attendance among orphans
  • HIV prevalence among young people

Achieving the Millenium Development Goals depends on progress in turning around the HIV/AIDS epidemic and, conversely, success in the response to the epidemic will not be possible without achievement of the MDGs.

Investing in expanding and accelerating access to HIV prevention programmes for young people is fundamental to achieving this commitment.

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