As you may know, the International AIDS Conference is the largest international gathering on a health-related issue and a premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV. The conference brings together technical experts, policy makers, persons living with HIV, and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent developments, explore new opportunities, and learn lessons from the field.
Since the Barcelona International AIDS Conference in 2000, the YouthForce has served as the collaborative mechanism for young people, organizing and mobilizing youth leaders and ensuring their access to key government and civil society leaders. As a matter of fact, through this coordination, youth voices are heard, programs and research that affect youth are discussed and evaluated, influential adults are rallied to support youth-led programming, and international commitments favorable to youth are made.
These strategies have been so successful during the past five IACs (in Barcelona, Bangkok, Toronto, Mexico City, and Vienna) that the YouthForce has been widely hailed as pivotal in keeping youth issues at the forefront of the international HIV/AIDS agenda. This is why until today, the YouthForce has become a powerful example of successful youth-led advocacy that uses innovative tactics tailored to changing demands. It is critical that the YouthForce maintain its momentum and support so that young people can continue to serve as effective advocates for the needs and rights of their peers around the world.
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The Washington DC YouthForce will build on the key successes and lessons learned from previous YouthForces. The following is a brief description of tentative activities for the conference. Activities are also based on key niche areas of the coordinating organizations. In all activity planning and implementation, the YouthForce will collaborate with the IAC Youth Programme to ensure that the YouthForce is complementing and leveraging efforts to integrate youth-focused activities, issues, and leaders into the conference. Find out more here.
With the International AIDS Conference taking place in Washington, DC (July 22-27, 2012), the YouthForce, in collaboration with the conference’s Youth Programme, has another chance to empower young people and advocate for current and critical issues affecting youth worldwide. The Washington DC YouthForce is composed of five committees through which we plan to carry out our activities. Get to know the committees…