Author: M. G.
Today I want to talk about Youth LEAD, a network of young people that is now working on HIV awareness in 17 countries of the Asian Pacific Area. The network is mainly composed by people coming from Young Key Effected population - young MSM, transgenders, people who inject drugs, sexworkers and also people living with HIV. What strikes me the most is the fact that this project is about young people trying to talk and educate their peers.
Last month Youth LEAD launched a social media HIV prevention campaign called "Our Voices", which presents different real stories about issues like injecting drugs, sex work, sexual orientation and gender identity. "Through this campaign we intended to introduce people to the issues, rally support and build an audience base in the region so we have the capacity to focus this network of supporters on taking concrete action," explained Mike Nedelko, fundraising and Campaign Officer of the network.
In the Asian-Pacific areas young people at high risk of infection still need education not only about HIV/AIDS subjects but also to speak up for themselves to ensure their legal and human rights to be respected. For these reasons Youth Lead also developed together with Melbourne University, UNESCO, UNAIDS, UNICEF and others the New Generation Asia Leadership course (NewGen Asia), a 5 days workshop which aim is to improve young people leadership skills to avoid their legal, financial and social marginalisation. "This is particularly important in the Asia Pacific Region where cultural principles expect a young person to be submissive and obedient".
This is not the first time I find an interesting HIV awareness campaign from the Asian-Pacific area (see also Project Indulge) and I am sure that thanks to DAA's Bali Project we will be able to make the difference in the fight against the plague together with these progressive organizations.
Good work everybody!