Young People Must Be Involved in Development of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care, Treatment Programs, Piot Says
Young people must be involved in the development of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs because "adults need help getting it right," UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said on Wednesday during a "Meet the Leaders" session on youth and AIDS at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Piot said that young people should be involved in the decision-making processes of AIDS organizations not only because it makes "good sense but it is also a democratic right because it's about the future of entire nations." He also said that more attention must be directed toward HIV/AIDS among women and girls. The panel also included David Ross of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who spoke on behalf of the UNAIDS Interagency Task Team on Young People; John Stover, vice president of the POLICY Project/Futures Group; and Yinka Jegede-Ekepe, head of the Nigerian Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS. The session, titled "At the Crossroads: Accelerating Youth Access to HIV/AIDS Services," provided a forum for youth from nations around the world -- including Indonesia, Australia, Thailand and the United Kingdom -- to ask questions of the panel members. Piot urged young people to organize, develop strategies and goals and identify their allies to become equal partners with adults in the fight against AIDS (Alyson Browett, Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/14).
A webcast of this session, as well as additional coverage of the conference, is available online from kaisernetwork.org.