AIDS No More team had an opportunity to engage with Africa youth representatives from the 54 different African countries during the African Youth Development Summit.
The summit organised by JCI (Junior Chamber International, Inc.) in collaboration with Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD VI) aimed to connect young leaders from across the continent of Africa.
Analysing the current situation , policies and ambitious goals set out in Agenda 2063 and the critical needs Africa’s young people. Agenda 2063 is “both a Vision and an Action Plan. It highlights a strategic framework which calls for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa.
However the future of Africa will only be realised by it’s young people. Young people who despite bearing the brunt of HIV/AIDS epidemic are now turning the tide by engaging and ensuring that their health needs are included in the existing agenda.
AIDS is now the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among adolescents in Africa with more than 2000 infections every day among those aged 15- 24 years of age it’s time we spoke out. Understanding the perception of young people and their health needs while analysing what gaps exist in Agenda 2063 was the first step to holding our leaders and governments accountable. Most importantly we came up with practical actions in which we as young people could take to reach the Africa we want.
Three key areas which were of importance include;
Accessibility to treatment and Anti-retroviral medication for those in rural and urban areas is a need that is yet to be addressed.
Prevention interventions should be youth-friendly and not focussed in the large cities but also in the rural areas
Stigma will only be broken we in Africa including our leaders speak out on HIV/AIDS. Stop the silence and Speak out!