VIENNA, Austria — Harnessing the power of the mass media and new technologies to reach young people with information about HIV and reproductive health was high on the agenda at the XVIII International AIDS conference yesterday during a series of events sponsored by Y-PEER, a youth initiative pioneered by UNFPA the United Nations Population Fund.
According to UNFPA a youth-centred approach, such as Y-PEER, is critical to genuine engagement for change.
“If we want to engage young people on health and lifestyle issues that affect them, we need to be where they are, sharing information through platforms they are connecting to every day,” said Purnima Mane, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director (Programmes).
“Run by youth for youth, Y-Peer continues to grab hold of the latest trends in entertainment and social media through innovative partnerships to promote health and prevent HIV infection.”
In an innovative session, Using Edutainment for Social and Behaviour Change, one of Hollywood’s top writers and producers, Zoanne Clack of the award-winning US series Grey’s Anatomy, joined experts, such as Colin Dixon of Dance4Life, AIDS activists and Y-PEER ambassadors to discuss how HIV is dealt with in the entertainment media.