Young Positive Voices: A space for free expression

By Cédric Nininahazwe
12 Feb 2018

Dear young people!

Y+ is pleased to introduce the Young Positive Voices platform through which we will channel and amplify your voices. We will promote your contribution to the HIV response, your challenges and your promising practices.

If you have any questions or wish to send your article, video or research, kindly contact us at positivevoices@yplusnetwork.org

I have personally witnessed – just as you can witness – young people advocating for the needs of their peers; raising awareness and delivering services to communities, often as volunteers, sometimes breaking rules by continuing to work with key populations who are criminalised, taking risks in periods of crisis, facing discrimination, and in short, taking responsibilities to play a major role in ending AIDS.

However, it hasn’t always been obvious that these efforts are recognised and seriously considered by all partners involved in the HIV response.

As young people, in full enjoyment of your rights, you are claiming your place in the decision-making spaces that aim to meet your needs. In parallel, decision makers are simultaneously investigating evidence to guide policies and programmes. Isn’t it time for us to share our lived experiences and be the living evidence of young people with HIV?

Young Positive Voices intends to be the bridge to gather evidence on the needs and challenges of young people, by championing their voices and demonstrating their work from the community to the global level. Young Positive Voices will serve as a reference to guide programmes and policies that are aiming to meet the needs of young people – especially those living with, or affected by, HIV in terms of treatment access and adherence, stigma and discrimination, and sexual and reproductive health.

The main objectives of this platform are to highlight the contribution of young people living with or most affected by HIV to the global response; to provide a space for free expression to young people wishing to share their experiences and opinions; to gather evidence of the needs and challenges faced by young people, and share potential solutions.

At Y+ we value your efforts and your work. Together we are a movement; we are a collective voice; we are large in number; we are a positive force; no one knows better than us what we need, and we have the right to be heard and considered, as much in the development of policies and programmes aiming to meet our needs as in their implementation.

Many of you are already asking how to be part of our network, so here is one of the simplest and most practical ways. We will be more than happy to share your articles, your blogs, your videos, your research. Share your voice and make yourself heard, share your experience with others and learn from others as well. Let the world know and take part in positively changing your peers’ lives.

If you have any questions or wish to send your article, video or research, kindly contact us at positivevoices@yplusnetwork.org