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07.29.2016
Resources

July 2008 iYAN Newsletter

This Month

Support Family Planning on World Population Day

The World Population Day was inaugurated in 1988 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to mark July 11, 1987, when the world’s population hit five billion.
The Day seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, particularly in the context of overall development plans and programs, and the need to find solutions for these issues. July 11th also draws attention to population issues like gender equality, reproductive health and sustainable development. This year, the theme for World Population Day is Family Planning.
More than 1.5 billion people are between the ages of 10 and 25. This largest-ever generation of adolescents is approaching adulthood in a world their elders could not have imagined.
“Today, only 4 in 10 young people know how to prevent HIV infection, and this is not good enough,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid in a message to the participants at the June 2008 UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, held in New York. “The overwhelming majority of HIV infections are sexually transmitted or associated with pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Thus, integrated services are essential to meet the needs of women and couples. And to be effective, we must redouble efforts to address gender inequities.”
For more information visit the World Population Day website.
For more information on family planning and youth reproductive health needs, check out International Family Planning and the Unmet Needs of Reproductive Health for Youth
Interested in learning more about population issues in your country?

The Worldwide section of the UNFPA website can link you to specific information about UNFPA programs in each country, as well as to population and demographic data and indicators related to that country. You can also use the search engine to find feature stories, news items and reports that provide details about programs and activities in specific countries.

Coming Up
The Countdown to Mexico City Begins!
This year, Mexico City is hosting the XVII International AIDS Conference from August 5-8. Members of Advocates’ International Youth Leadership Council will participate in the Conference. Advocates is one of the core implementing agencies of this year’s YouthForce, in partnership with the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Youth Coalition, Ave de México and TakingITGlobal. The Mexico City YouthForce is a coalition of youth-led and youth-serving HIV/AIDS organizations that are working to empower young delegates and promote youth participation around HIV/AIDS before, during and after the XVII Mexico City International AIDS Conference. Since the Barcelona International AIDS Conference in 2002, the YouthForce has been widely hailed as pivotal in keeping youth issues at the forefront of the international HIV/AIDS agenda. To learn more about the Mexico City YouthForce, please click on the link below.
http://youthaids2008.org/en/
A Workshop in the Spotlight at Mexico IAC 2008
Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
“Young Positive People: Working with the Media”
A joint initiative of the World AIDS Campaign, United Nations Population Fund, GNP+ and Young Positives
Prior to the upcoming 2008 International AIDS Conference, and in connection with the youth pre-conference the World AIDS Campaign, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, GNP+ and Young Positives will hold a media training for young people living with HIV who will be attending the conference. The deadline to apply is JULY 10, 2008. The training will be held in Mexico City on Wednesday, July 30, 2008. Please note that you will need to arrive in Mexico by 29 July in order to participate in the workshop.
A maximum of 25 young people will participate in this training, which will provide participants with support in identifying what their message(s) as positive young leaders are, as well as share tips on how to work with the media.
To read more about the workshop and download the application, click here: [link]
Why are we doing this?
It is often the case that young positive people do not have access to practical training or capacity building around media. It is also key that young people understand their rights and the ethical implications when media is sometimes forced upon them, especially at these large events which can be overwhelming. This workshop will endeavour to address both these issues, by providing advice, guidance and practical support when working with media. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the key messages that, as young leaders, they would like to transmit, while at the same time learning how best to share those messages according to the type of media they are working with, as well as the audience at hand.
It is hoped that these young people will disseminate their lessons learned to their colleagues and peers. It is also key that young people with no or limited media experience have an opportunity to engage and take part as they will benefit directly from this workshop.
Please note that while partial scholarships are available for selected applicants, this funding source is for participants already attending the conference and will allow an extra night accommodation and per diem in order to attend the workshop.
To apply to participate in this workshop, please complete the attached form and return to ahumadac@worldaidscampaign.org We will consider applications from young positive people who:
Fall between the ages of 15 – 29
Are openly living with HIV
Are funded to attend the International AIDS Conference in Mexico
Have a working knowledge of English and can communicate proficiently in English with other workshop participants.
Are affiliated with an organisation/have some experience in working in the area of HIV and AIDS, youth leadership and/or campaigning
Have some knowledge/experience on working with the media or a commitment to move into this area of work.
Are willing to engage with the media throughout the International AIDS Conference, with the support of the workshop organisers
Please note that only those who fit the above criteria will be considered. We welcome applicants from all regions, genders and backgrounds.

Application Form
Please note that this workshop is geared specifically for young people (ages 15 to 29), who are HIV positive. If you do not self identify as both, please do not apply.
Name:
Date of birth:
Country of birth:
Country of residence:
Organization/network:
Constituency/ies:

Why would you like to participate in the Young Positive People Working with the Media Workshop?

Unfortunately we are unable to fund participants travel and other expenses to participate in the International AIDS Conference. How will you secure your own funding (flight, hotel, other expenses)?

Have you registered for the 2008 International AIDS Conference?

Have you ever participated in an International AIDS Conference?

Please rate your level of English fluency:

Written
Oral
Reading
English

What kind of work do you do in your country/region that relates to youth and HIV and AIDS?

What do “youth participation” and “youth leadership” mean to you?

How often do you have access to the Internet?

Participants in the media workshop will be expected to speak with the media on certain occasions. Are you comfortable doing so?

Please describe any media or communications experience you may have (for example, public speaking, interviews, blogging, radio, etc)

It is possible that participants of the workshop may be filmed and/or photographed, and that these images would then be disseminated at the IAC, related websites or other means. Do you authorize having photographs and film of your participation in this Initiative being disseminated, rights free?

Please attach a copy of your CV or resume. (attached to email)

SVRI Forum 2009: Steps towards Ending Sexual Violence in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 8-11th 2009

This global event will bring together 200 participants working on sexual violence as researchers, gender activists, funders, policy makers, service providers, survivors and others. The three day event includes:

· Keynote and breakout sessions on the latest research and debates on: preventing sexual violence; responding to sexual violence; and global advocacy on sexual violence
· A dialogue between activists, researchers, funders and policy makers on collaboration and partnerships
· An analysis of current advances in health sector responses to sexual violence
· Sexual violence research, ethics and advocacy skills building workshops

The conference is being organized by the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI). The SVRI is a global initiative that promotes and disseminates policy relevant, action-oriented research to reduce and respond to sexual violence through: identifying gaps; building capacity; supporting research; raising awareness; and building partnerships. We are building an experienced and committed network of researchers, policy makers, activists and donors to ensure that the many aspects of sexual violence are addressed from different disciplinary and cultural perspectives.

In order to enable participation from developing countries a number of bursaries (grants) will be made available. Bursaries will cover the conference fee package (travel, accommodation, meals and registration). A call for abstracts will be issued in September 2008. For more details email svri@mrc.ac.za

For more details on SVRI visit www.svri.org.

What’s Going On at Advocates for Youth?

Rising to the Challenge: Youth Advocacy at the 2008 UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS
By Brian Ackerman, International Policy Manager
Four members of the Advocates for Youth team attended the 2008 UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. The meeting was called to review reports submitted by member states of the United Nations to review global progress towards the Universal Access targets decided on at the 2001 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS. The 2001 UNGASS produced the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. This document was reaffirmed at the 2006 UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in the Political Declaration of Commitment on HIV. This Political Declaration also includedsome important gains in language on youth and evidence-based HIV prevention. Both documents were directly influenced by members of Civil Society (non-governmental organizations such as Advocates for Youth that are considered stakeholders in the fight against global HIV/AIDS). These meetings have been convened to consolidate regional and global agreements on the response to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.

To read the entire article, click here: [Link]

This meeting was uniquely challenging for Civil Society because no official document, or new “Declaration,” was being negotiated; rather, it was an opportunity for the international community to evaluate implementation of programs and policies outlined in the two previous declarations. Advocates worked hard in partnership with other youth-led and youth-oriented organizations to ensure that the unique needs and vulnerability of young people in the global fight against HIV/AIDS were all voiced loudly in conjunction with fellow members of Civil Society to official government delegates at the conference.
The team started off two days early at the Progressive Youth Caucus where they participated in the drafting of the Progressive Youth Statement. The statement was a one page document emphasizing six key asks of the international community on behalf of young people in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Thirty-two young people from over 20 countries participated in the drafting of this document. The group of young people used the one-pager to form a united youth advocacy strategy during the conference. The main demands of country governments in the Progressive Youth Statement included:
Ø Ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education;
Ø Address HIV in the context of other sexual and reproductive health needs;
Ø Take positive steps to promote and protect young people’s rights;
Ø Make health services more accessible to young people;
Ø Disaggregate data by age; and
Ø Invest in youth leadership.
This one-pager was distributed to members of Civil Society, to official country delegates, and to the UN General Assembly President in the hopes that it would be included in the UN’s official (still forthcoming) summary of the meeting, issued by the General Assembly President.
Young people were also very vocal in the drafting of the Civil Society Declaration. While also unofficial, this document attempted to distill key asks of those in attendance representing Civil Society organizations. While agreement among country delegations rarely comes easily, if it comes at all, negotiations on documents such as these among representatives of Civil Society also present intense challenges because of the competing interests of various Civil Society groups. The challenge of the document was to include the wide array of needs spread among the multitude of populations represented in Civil Society, while also sending a strong, clear message. The Advocates for Youth team and other young people at the meeting successfully voiced various ways to better respond to the pandemic among young people. As a result, the Civil Society Declaration acknowledged that:
Ø young people are a vulnerable population in need of programs specific to their needs;
Ø there is a unique vulnerability to infection for young women; and
Ø countries must disaggregate epidemiological data by age and gender.
Although these messages are not new, they still apply considering that almost half of new HIV infections occur among young people ages 15-24.
For more information contact Brian Ackerman, International Policy Manager at brian@advocatesforyouth.org.

Advocates for Youth Launches a Partnership in Ethiopia!

Advocates for Youth just recently launched the International Youth Speak Out (iYSO) Project! Through this project Advocates is working to support a leadership council in Ethiopia that will advocate for better adolescent reproductive and sexual health programs and policies in Ethiopia and internationally! Advocates sent out a request for proposals (RFP) to youth-led NGOs. As a result of the RFP, fourteen youth-led NGOs applied and Advocates conducted a second round of interviews in Addis Ababa to select one partner organization to receive in-depth technical assistance, tailored trainings, and a seed grant to support the recruitment, training, and supervision of a national youth council. After meeting with several organizations, Advocates for Youth was pleased to invite the Talent Youth Association to partner with us on this project!

Congratulations, Talent Youth Association! We look forward to working with you!

To find out more about the Talent Youth Association, click here: [link]

The Talent Youth Association (TaYA) is the largest youth-led development organization in Ethiopia working on youth reproductive health issues. Established in November 2003, TaYA works with youth to implement an HIV/AIDS budget tracking system to monitor how different actors (government, international NGOs, bilateral and multi-lateral donors) plan and implement HIV/AIDS programs in Ethiopia. Based on these findings, TaYA advocates and hosts a coalition on advocacy and lobbying called Voluntary Organizations Coalition on Advocacy and Lobbying (VOCAL).

Through the International Youth Speak Out Project, the Talent Youth Association will support a council of at least 8 youth activists between the ages of 18-24 that will coordinate an advocacy campaign to address issues including: redressing the feminization of HIV/AIDS; improving access to treatment and care for HIV positive youth; increasing youth access to sexual health education, contraception, and condoms; and preventing maternal mortality and morbidity among adolescent girls. They will implement this advocacy campaign by lobbying stakeholders on domestic policies; raising public awareness through the media; mobilizing peers to take action; and participating and taking a leadership role at international conferences. Best of all, members of the youth council will write articles that will be featured in the iYAN newsletter!

Planning for Families and the Future
By Liora, Member of Advocates International Youth Leadership Council

As a senior student at Georgetown University studying social justice, I find it slightly embarrassing that I had never lobbied my legislators, until this year when I joined Advocates for Youth’s International Youth Leadership Council (IYLC). I had assumed that the process required a major time commitment or skill, when in fact, it is a fairly simple and meaningful activity of which all students should take advantage. On April 21st, the IYLC gave students from campuses around the nation’s capitol an opportunity to visit the U.S. Congress and speak directly to Congressional offices about the serious need for an increase in international family planning funding.

The students’ requested that the government fund $1 billion dollars for international family planning for Fiscal Year 2009 to go toward both the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). IYLC members advertised the two-day lobby event at four major universities in the Washington, D.C. area. Students registered to attend a short lobbying training and take part in lobbying with fellow young people on Capitol Hill the next day.

To read more about the lobby training, click here: [link]

IYLC members invited participants to attend a training to learn about international family planning, its political history, the basics of lobbying, and how to explain the need for an increase in funding for international family planning. Students learned that international family planning is much more than a battle over contraceptives. Rather, it is a basic healthcare necessity that is needed for other aid programs to be effective. Students in various fields such as political science, international affairs, and global public health attended the event.
Students visited their U.S. Congress persons the following day to strategically persuade legislators to push a $1 billion growth in funding. In addition to presenting political and scientific arguments for international family planning, the lobbyists were also able to emphasize their unique, youthful voices through personal stories and feelings. Politicians often listen to factual arguments surrounding legislation without changing their position or taking action. In these situations, it takes fresh voices and faces of our nation’s youth to make them really hear the message.
The overall trend in responses from the Congressional offices was that they were supportive of an increase in funding for international family planning; however they felt that the particular sum of $1 billion dollars was too high of a commitment. While setbacks such as these can be frustrating, it shows us how important it is to constantly put pressure on the political system to be responsible and respect issues such as international family planning that represent fundamental human rights.
I feel that our lobby day was a great success in that it truly opened eyes to the opportunities for young people to voice their opinions and influence change on issues about which they are passionate. Our generation should always be encouraged to get involved and participate in the politics that shape the world we live in.

Sharing Our Passion

Ghana’s Sex and Reproduction Education Curriculum

By Rob

Sex and Reproduction Education is one of the highlighted topics in the educational curriculum for both primary and secondary schools in Ghana. Like any other life skills topic, sex and reproduction education is taught to enhance both the knowledge and life of these students.

The adolescent reproductive health policy, put together by the national population council of Ghana, recognizes in the preamble that pupils are taught the changes that take place as a child’s body matures into an adult during the first cycle school (primary school). The schools teach this process as a part of “adolescent reproductive health.” They are taught to understand the changes that take place during this period and the natural functions of the sexual organs of both the male and the female.

Reproductive health is further taught in the second cycle schools (also known as junior and senior high schools). At this level, the same topics are repeated but further explanations are made to gain a deeper understanding of the issues. Other aspects of adolescent reproductive health are taught, like sexually transmitted diseases and contraceptives. We are taught the curriculum in a rights-based framework, because we deserve to know this information and apply it to our daily lives.

A Closer Look into HIV/AIDS in Jamaica
By Dwayne
Advocates for Youth International Youth Leadership Council
“We don’t know who to trust…only your ‘best friend’ knows your secret and only he/she can reveal it” said Bob Marley, a renowned reggae artist. Politicians, health care providers, guidance counselors, teachers, parents and pastors–are these individuals truly our ‘best friends’?
In Jamaica, HIV/AIDS is a threat to young people regardless of sexuality, ethnicity, class, race, or culture. According to the UNAIDS 2006 HIV/AIDS statistics, throughout the world, almost 6,000 youth ages 15 to 24 are infected with HIV every day. Far too often we are uneducated and mislead by our parents and the leaders of our society about sexuality, sexual intercourse, and HIV/AIDS. Jamaica is seen as a Christian country, yet the churches fail to educate the young people within their congregation and surrounding communities about HIV/AIDS. As a result, we are not informed about how to make right and responsible decisions about our sexual health and we become more vulnerable and susceptible to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
To read more, click here: [link]
The proliferation of HIV/AIDS among Jamaica’s young people is alarming. Being sexually active is common among our peers. I can vividly recall the silence around discussing sex and sexuality issues in school and church. It was in 1999, my final year in junior high school, when almost all the girls that I had grown up with in school had dropped out because of pregnancy. Violence is also a reality for youth. One friend of mine was raped at the age of eighteen. His aggressors robbed him of his exuberance, dreams, and aspirations; four months later he was diagnosed with HIV.
Contemporary Jamaican society is one of disparity, confusion, and obscurity. The government has said that youth are the priority of the nation, but clearly we are not number one among the long list of government priorities. The breach of confidentiality by health care providers and the lack of youth-friendly services is a crucial concern among young people. The fear of the repercussions of being stigmatized and discriminated against is reflected in the young people’s reluctance to seek health care.
Although the Jamaican National HIV/AIDS policy’s non-discrimination clause states “In respect for human rights and dignity of persons infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, there should be no discrimination against workers on the basis of real or perceived HIV status,” this is not the reality in practice in the Jamaican work environment.
Homophobia also plays a detrimental role once you are perceived as a “batty man,” or gay, by wider society. Research indicates that homophobia in Jamaica is a powerful cultural influence which forces HIV/AIDS infected and affected young gay men from accessing medical care. I strongly believe that the political and wider Jamaican society needs to reform its approach to homosexuality in order to reduce the HIV transmission rate among young gay men.
When I look within my society, I see a lack of unity and a lack of understanding of the immense amount of struggles and suffering young people undergo. Which leads back to the question, “Where are our best friends?”

This article was taken from the Mexico YouthForce newsletter.

Read All About It
Changes in the HIV Epidemic in South Africa

On March 18, Agence France Presse reported on a new study finding that the typical South African HIV-positive profile has changed from a gay white male to a poor woman living in a rural setting. The report also found that women younger than 25 were up to four times more likely to be infected with HIV than men of the same age. “The co-existence of the epidemics of both HIV and violence against women has raised the costs of violence for South African women and girls – both physically and psychologically,” said Michelle Kagari, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme.

Read the article here: Agence France Presse

Free Distribution of Emergency Contraception Banned in Chile

On April 18, 2008, thirty-six conservative legislators filed a lawsuit arguing that the free distribution of emergency contraception in public health centers violated the right to life ensured by Chile’s constitution. Many church leaders and politicians have likened the pill to abortion, a procedure considered illegal in Chile even in cases of rape or when the mother’s health is threatened. This ruling has significant implications in a country where contraceptive use is low, often due to a lack of access to information but also as a result of social and economic constraints; machismo is alive and well in Chile and in relationships, and women often defer to men for decision-making. The Chilean Ministry of Health estimates the annual number of illegal abortions in Chile at 150,000, a number that is unlikely to change, as women will no longer have widespread access to this essential tool to prevent pregnancy safely.

For the last two decades in Chile, 16 percent of all children annually have been born to mothers under 19 years of age. Rates of contraceptive use among young people are low and are even lower at the time of sexual debut. Sexual health education has never been implemented within the public education system in Chile and many young people grow to adulthood without the knowledge of how to prevent pregnancy or protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections. Furthermore, although some young people do have access to this information, oftentimes sexual and reproductive health services, specifically for adolescents, are either inaccessible or not youth-friendly.

To read the more, click here: [link]

In response to these realities, important strides in health policy have been made by the administration of Michelle Bachelet, which came to office in 2006. That same year, the Minister of Health, María Soledad Barria, announced the approval of the National Regulations on Fertility Regulation. The standard included language on broader access to contraception, including emergency contraception, for all women, not just those who have been victims of rape. It also allowed adolescents 14 years of age and older confidential access to contraceptives without parental consent. However, these regulations, specifically those related to parental notification and emergency contraception, were strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, an institution that holds a great deal of power in Chilean society.

Emergency contraception, more commonly known as the morning-after pill, can be taken orally up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse to prevent fertilization or implantation. Public access to this form of contraception, essential for women of all ages seeking to prevent unplanned pregnancy, was banned in early April through a ruling made by Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal.

While emergency contraception will still be available at pharmacies to all women 14 years of age and older, women will need a physician’s prescription and the cost, approximately $25 USD, is prohibitive for many, particularly for young women. The government is also in an ongoing battle with a few of the main pharmacy chains in Chile, one of which has publicly objected to selling emergency contraception because of (perceived) ethical issues with its distribution, although it is required by law to sell it. In response, the government has imposed fines for those who are not carrying the pill. Even though this ban has not completely eliminated access, the most important point to consider is that it has put in place barriers which will prevent those at most risk and in most need of emergency contraceptives from obtaining them.

Following the ruling, 10,000 to 15,000 people protested in the center of Santiago, the nation’s capital, to express their frustration with the Tribunal’s ruling. While this was an important show of public support for the pill’s access, the government is unable to take action to change the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal. Since this ban will stand until the Constitution itself is modified, communities are looking to better the situation at hand in the short term. Mayors and municipal officials in various communities have made statements in support of free distribution and they have expressed the intention to make the pill accessible at the municipal level.

Politicians have significant impacts on the lives of women and when these decision makers violate basic human rights and threaten the health and well being of women, we must take a stand.

Are You Serious?
LGBT Ugandan Activists Arrested at 2008 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting

Three Ugandan LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender) activists were arrested on June 4, 2008 at Uganda’s 2008 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting, after peacefully protesting statements made by a Ugandan government official that no funds be directed towards HIV programs targeting men who have sex with men. The HIV Implementer’s Meeting is an annual event that gives HIV program implementers the opportunity to share lessons learned and best practices in the scale-up of HIV/AIDS Programs.

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) staged the peaceful protest at the HIV Implementers meeting to protest the Minister’s statements and the outrageous neglect of the Ugandan government in responding to a growing HIV epidemic among the country’s LGBT community. Although the three activists were arrested and detained, fellow SMUG activists stood strong by distributing leaflets to demand attention to HIV vulnerability among the LGBT community.
“Today I realized how dangerous it is for us LGBTI people to express our constitutional rights,” said Frank Mugisha, Co-Chairperson of SMUG. “I am worried about my comrades who are in police custody.”
To read more, click here: [link]
The Director General of the Uganda AIDS Commission, Kihumuro Apuuli, stated on May 2, 2008 that, “gays are one of the drivers of HIV in Uganda, but because of meager resources we cannot direct our programmes at them at this time.”
Twenty-six years since the beginning of the epidemic, Uganda hasn’t implemented a single program to prevent transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men in the East African nation.
“The remarks made by the head of the AIDS Commission were very disturbing to members of the LGBT community,” said Kasha Jacqueline, Chairperson of Freedom and Roam Uganda, a lesbian organization in Uganda. “If they want us to die, let them ask themselves if they wish themselves the same. Excluding us is just going to make the situation worse.”
“Gay men and lesbians are not ‘drivers of disease’,” said Paula Ettelbrick, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “Homophobia drives HIV. Silence drives HIV.”
In November 2004, the Ugandan government fined a local broadcaster, Radio Simba for airing a program that discussed anti-gay discrimination and the need for HIV/AIDS services for lesbians and gay men. The government claimed that Radio Simba had violated federal law promoting broadcasting that is contrary to “public morality.”
Partners of SMUG, including the International GAY and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, have publicly condemned these arrests. Advocates for Youth stands with them to say that homophobia should not be tolerated.
For more information, visit the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s (IGLHRC) website: http://www.iglhrc.org
Executive Director of UNAIDS Announces Departure from Role
Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS, announced his resignation from his current position mid-May, at the end of his lecture at the London School of Economics. Dr. Piot gave an unexpected announcement with no reason as to why he was leaving and what he will be doing next.
Dr. Piot has been in his role, since the inception of UNAIDS in 1995. The lecture entitled ‘The future of AIDS: Exceptionalism Revisited’ addressed current trends in the progress of AIDS globally and the long-term view of the epidemic. Piot discussed how funding does not always go to the right places and criticized America’s “abstinence only” programs as bad politics and a “waste of money.” Although Piot says it’s difficult to predict how the AIDS epidemic will evolve in the long-term—since there will constantly be social change—a strong activist movement is still necessary.
Piot has been a strong advocate for women’s health and worldwide change. His achievements will hopefully continue long after he departs at the end of this year.
On behalf of the iYAN—we’ll miss you, Dr. Piot!

Make Your Voice Count
We can’t wait to fight AIDS! Increase Access to Female Condoms Worldwide!
By signing the Prevention Now petition, you can join a global grassroots movement to ensure universal access to female condoms. Achieving the goals of this campaign will require your help. The immediate goal of the Prevention Now! Campaign is to ensure universal access to female condoms—to promote sexual and reproductive rights for all people, prevent the spread of HIV infections, reduce unintended pregnancies, and increase the options available to all persons—HIV positive or negative—seeking to enjoy safer sex.
To sign the petition, click here!
To find out more about female condoms, read the Prevention Now! fact sheet.

Tools You Can Use

Myths, Misperceptions and Fears Addressing Condom Use Barriers (Booklet)
By UNFPA and the International Planned Parent Federation (IPPF)

The purpose of the booklet is to provide factual information that can be used to foster a positive attitude towards condom use. The message is simple and focused on responding to common, reoccurring myths, misperceptions, and fears related to condoms and condom use. It provides accurate evidence-based information to support the fact that consistent use of male or female condoms is highly effective at preventing unintended pregnancy, the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

To download this booklet, click here.

Join Women, Ink, and receive free materials on HIV/AIDS and women!
Women, Ink, a program of the International Women’s Tribune Centre, has compiled a collection of materials entitled “HIV/AIDS and Women: Resources to Support Policy and Advocacy.” Comprising some 50 action-oriented tools as well as analyses, reports and case studies, this resource pack was assembled to support informed participation on issues of women and HIV/AIDS at the UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS 2008. It includes materials around the following topics:
§ Advocating for a gender-based approach to HIV/AIDS;
§ Protecting the rights of young women and girls;
§ Promoting a gender-based approach to prevention and care;
§ Guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights for women;
§ Supporting leadership among women living with HIV/AIDS;
§ Eliminating violence against women; and
§ Ensuring women’s economic rights.
Please go to the Women, Ink website www.womenink.org to access the materials or to download a complete list of the resources. Women, Ink. is dedicated to distributing resources that raise awareness on women, gender, and development. Contact Maya Scherer (maya@iwtc.org) or Joeyta Bose (joey@womenink.org) with questions or comments.
Attention: Resources for VCT Counselors!
Pathfinder International is pleased to announce the publication of Family Planning Discussion Topics for Voluntary Counseling and Testing: A Reference Guide for FP Counseling of Individuals, Couples, and Special Groups by Trained VCT Counselors, a tool designed to help VCT counselors integrate family planning messages into their counseling sessions.
The tool can be downloaded here: http://www.pathfind.org/Pubs_Job_Aids. Hard copies are available by contacting tech-comm@pathfind.org. Please forward this message to interested colleagues.

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