It's time to step up the pace in the fight against AIDS
- 1 Post
- Age 30
Have you heard about the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place next week in Melbourne, Australia?
I am saddened to learn that many people aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight that crashed over Ukraine were en route to attend the conference. Some of the world’s top AIDS experts were among its victims. My thoughts are with those affected by the tragedy.
Scientists, activists, policy makers and people living with HIV will gather at the conference to examine the global, regional and national trends of the epidemic. This year's theme is "stepping up the pace.” There’s no tip-toeing around the issue anymore. An AIDS-free generation, in which all children are born free of HIV and remain so for the first two decades of life, is within reach. Achieving an AIDS-free generation, however, is only possible by focusing more on adolescents. They need a lot more attention because globally, adolescents aged 10-19 years are the only age group with an increasing number of AIDS-related deaths (Children and AIDS report).
AIDS 2014 will provide a crucial opportunity for mobilizing its attendees. UNICEF is chairing and participating in a variety of events at AIDS 2014, including the youth pre-conference and a satellite event about ending the epidemic in adolescents.
For all the Twitter users out there, follow the #AIDS2014 conference with @UNICEF_AIDS.
Keep a lookout for upcoming posts from these bloggers:
Keren Dunaway-Gonzalez is an 18-year old from Honduras who has participated in several AIDS conferences. She spoke at the opening plenary of the 17th International AIDS Conference and she will speak on the panel at UNICEF’s satellite event this year. She became an activist at only 8 years old, has run a children’s magazine and radio program in Honduras, and defends LGBT rights too. Keren is confident that stigma and discrimination can only be decreased if more young people take the initiative to raise their voices. In addition to being an activist, Keren has a passion for music and singing. She loves spending time with her boyfriend of 3 years. @KerenDunaway
Patrick Bonales is a 24-year old advocate of HIV/AIDS and equality in the Philippines. He is a trained HIV/AIDS counselor and peer educator, a member of an LGBT political party (LADLAD Partylist), and Marketing Officer of the only LGBT magazine in the Philippines (Outrage Magazine). He is interested in HIV and AIDS progress through universal health coverage and the role of the church in the fight against HIV. He loves traveling to different countries and collecting crystals for good luck. @patrickbonales
Michael Ighodaro is a 28-year old LGBTI activist from Nigeria who loves soccer. He was involved in HIV advocacy for most-at-risk population living with HIV in Nigeria and around Africa. Michael is currently interning at The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in NYC. @Mikefire