Uganda Network of young people living with HIV (UNYPA) hosted the second biggest HIV/AIDS awareness summit under the theme “Confronting HIV with Bold Steps”.
The annual 3-day event brought together over 300 young people living with HIV from different walks of life to interact, share ideas on how to end stigma as well as share success stories on how to lead healthy positive lives.READ MORE
The summit brought together partners, government heads, ministers, organizational team leaders, heads of religion, consultants and trainers and all the previous Y+ beauty Pageant ambassadors.READ MORE
Dr. Mondo Kyateeka, Commissioner for youth and child affairs from the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development officially opened the summit urging youths to be masters of their sexuality and sexual reproductive health. He further went on to say that “the power of participation of young people is extremely important towards the development agenda”. He urged young people to seek information, dialogue on issues, exchange ideas of what is happening and what interventions need improvement so as to present facts that will enable government channel services to meet their needs.READ MORE
Jacquelyn Alesi, former Executive Director (UNYPA), built her discussion on leadership and mentorship, stressing that leaders are people that take bold steps against what they see is uncomfortable for them. She further said that sustainability is when leaders let colleagues spring up in their strengths.READ MORE
Discussions that ensued among participants, revealed that one of the biggest stereotypes shared today is that “Everyone that is living with HIV contracted it through having unprotected sex or they did something wrong to deserve the virus”. This has therefore escalated the stigma that young people living positively face. Noor Musisi from Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), therefore took up the podium to speak about the rights and responsibilities of YPLHIV. She stated that young people have a right to their bodies, a right to access information on their sexual reproductive health, a right to keep their HIV status private, a right to have intimate relations however a responsibility to decide when to have sex, when to start a family, a right to medical care, as well as a right to not be discriminated at a health facility.LAUNCH NOW
Dr. Karusa Kiragu, Country Director UNAIDS, applauded UNYPA for the diverse programs that are presented to young people. She urged young people to take their drugs persistently so that when there are challenges of stock outs, their bodies will remain strong. She however assured the participants that UNAIDS in partnership with the Ministry of Health, is doing its best to ensure that there is a continuous supply chain for the drugs in different health centers across the country.LAUNCH NOW
By the end of the summit, the participants were both encouraged and reassured of their abilities and strengths. Daniel ………. challenged the young people to live with purpose regardless of what circumstances they had been born in. He asked each of the individual participants the question “What is your Kampala?” “Kampala” in this case was a representation of the purpose they /should live for. What goals do they have?? Furthermore, he said that it is going to take boldness and courage to live a life of meaning. In the same line of thought, Reverend Canon asked participants to count their blessings. He mentioned the power of consistency as key especially with taking medication (ARVs) daily. He said “I take my medicines like there is no prayer and I pray like there is no medication”. “I have lived with HIV for 25years and as I speak right now, my viral load is undetectable.”LAUNCH NOW
The government of Uganda represented by Minister for youth and child affairs; Hon Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi in her words said “The fight against HIV is paying off, it is well commanded, it is a strategy well assembled. It is a war that gives hope. It is therefore a fight every leader will be proud to be part of. My weapon has always been confidence and that is what every young person here should have. There is no greater success than one that comes from a place of weakness." Hon. Nakiwala Kiyingi pledged support for programs regarding the youths seeing that she occupies the office in that regard.LAUNCH NOW
Our mission is to create an enabling Environment for all young people living and affected by HIV/AIDS to meaningfully participate equally in development of programmes that improve their livelihood.
“Positive and productive lives for all young people living and affected by HIV and AIDS”
UNYPA is committed to practicing what it teaches at both the team and individual levels. Consequently, we shall uphold the following values:
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