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Youth Partner

Name: Larissa Pinheiro Spinelli
Age: 18
Nationality: Brazilian
Affiliated Organization: Canto Jovem

Larissa’s first experience in the field of HIV prevention was with a local meeting of youth with her school. Now Larissa is participating in “Canto Jovem”, a non-profit NGO which works on the issues of young people, including topics such as gender, reproductive health, and creating a culture of peace. Larissa loves arts and especially music; she also likes visiting art and history museums and parks.


Name: Leandro Vieira dos Santos
Age: 22
Nationality: Brazilian
Affiliated Organization: Reprolatina

Leandro Vieira dos Santos began work as a volunteer with a group that promotes SRH in 1996. Since then, he has joined a Brazilian NGO called Reprolatina that works to promote and educate adolescents on SRH. Reprolatina is collaborating with the University of Michigan and the Population Council of Brazil, with funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to improve the quality of sexual and reproductive health care and to increase access to services.

Leandro enjoys playing the guitar. He is also an avid basketball player. Leandro describes himself as a fighter.


UNFPA in Brazil

According to the 2000 census, the population of Brazil is about 169 million. Brazil has seen significant reductions in its mortality and fertility rates, due to a rapid expansion in contraceptive use (76.7 per cent in 1996), improved access to health services and education, an advanced urban transition, and an influx of women into the labor force. From 1980 to the most recent estimate, over 215,000 cases of HIV have been reported, with males accounting for 74.4 per cent of all recorded infections. An estimated 20,000 new cases of HIV are reported every year, with the proportion of infected women growing steadily.

UNFPA assistance to Brazil began in 1973. UNFPA support in the area of reproductive health contributed to the effective incorporation of ICPD goals into the agendas of governmental and non-governmental organizations. This support was concentrated in the poorest regions of the country and aimed to provide strategic inputs to ongoing federal, state and local initiatives. The programme’s main achievements were: (a) the creation of a training and quality-of-care management model for reproductive health that was launched in 30 northeastern municipalities; (b) the development and incorporation of a multi-sectoral model for promoting reproductive rights and health, gender equity, citizen involvement, and self-esteem of adolescents, using social mobilization in 80 municipalities in two states; (c) development of a distance learning model for industrial workers, promoting reproductive rights and health, gender equity, citizen involvement, and self-esteem; and (d) creation of a pilot advocacy approach focused on the families of 40,000 agricultural workers in three states to promote reproductive rights and health and gender equity. UNFPA also supported reproductive health advocacy efforts, including a parliamentary commission investigation of maternal mortality, an operations research study of family planning, and information and training in civil society monitoring mechanisms to an estimated 10,000 trainers of trainers nationwide.

A five-year program/ project proposal was implemented in 2002 to support a population programme covering the period 2002-2006 to assist the Government of Brazil in achieving its population and development goals. UNFPA assistance has been delivered through three sub-programmes: reproductive health, population and development strategies, and South-South technical cooperation. Gender and advocacy are mainstreamed throughout, and all three sub-programmes seek to achieve reduction of national disparities and consolidation of a critical mass of expertise in UNFPA’s main substantive areas and, through this, the promotion of national self-reliance. In the area of reproductive health, the development of more effective approaches to meeting the reproductive health needs of adolescent and adult men, based on an analysis of the social construct of masculinity in Brazil, has been prioritized alongside HIV/AIDS education, gender violence prevention and gender equity programmes.

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