A Youth Perspective on HIV/AIDS I. Why youth? Youth Are Affected • over 50% of people infected worldwide are under 25 years of age • over 80% of people infected in Eastern & Southern Europe and Central Asia are below 30 years of age. Youth Are Playing a Role • Dublin (Feb 2004) – Youth were the focal point of the conference • Bangkok (July 2004) – Twofold increase of youth participants over last conference. Youth Are Diverse A variety of youth organizations involved – RC, scouts, students, YMCA, Christian, PLWHA youth, UN youth groups… Advantages of Youth Approaches QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. • Peer Understanding - • you know best what your age group needs and responds to Peer Education - People are more likely to trust their peers II. What Can Youth Do? Provide relevant information a) on prevention - peer education b) battle stigma and discrimination - youth are future adults Represent youth interests a) Play a role in decision making that effects them b) ensure access to information, condoms - this is a right! Make AIDS an everyday topic a) the truth about aids... b) candlelight marches Quotes “Youth are not just a target group that has needs - they are the best resource available to address the problem” Quotes “Young people are a key resource to finding solutions that will work” Thank you.