UNFPA meeting: HIV+ adolescents share their experiences

In April 14-year old Yana from Ukraine and 16-year old Ruslan from Kazakhstan came to warm Turkish city of Istanbul. They took part in the regional meeting that was organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This meeting was dedicated to the discussion of the Programme of Action of the International conference on population and development (ICPD).
Yana and Ruslan actively participated in the sections: “Adolescents and youth”, “Human rights and gender equality”. Issues of rights defense of adolescents affected by HIV in EECA region were raised during these sections:
“People don’t understand that it’s easier to catch flu, which is transmitted by air than get infected by HIV. That’s why people are afraid of us and we’re forced to keep our status in secret”.
An important event was the fact that Yana took floor with the speech in the closing ceremony of the meeting (see Programme of the meeting). Ending her speech Yana expressed her hope that such young leaders like her can change the present situation with the help of international organisations and governments of their countries:
“I really hope that by working together we can defend the rights of adolescents with HIV status and make the programmes on reproductive health available. It’s very important for us to grow up real leaders because we want to become a decent succeeding generation”.
After the closing ceremony, our teens also participated in the youth section, where the new strategy of UNFPA on adolescents and youth was discussed. Our teens made their corrections and contributed crucial issues of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS in our region to new strategy, i.e. support of ALWH community in social networks, web site support for adolescents, availability of communication in Russian, including information materials, as well as training of trainers and summer camps conduction.