South American Youth Works for HIV Incidence

jovenes latnoamericaFrom 21 to 23 April in Bogota (Colombia) took place the second workshop on advocacy for young leaders of the Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Jóvenes Positivos, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund.

The results of the meeting included the launching of political advocacy and community mobilization plans for member countries, as only Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina count with established networks.

For instance, members of the Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Jóvenes Positivos have decided to take action for the implementation of the law on comprehensive sexual education promulgated in 2006, which has been frozen for a long time. On the other hand, in Paraguay, the situation is a little bit different. Young people are seeking to promote the reform of the law on sexual education since the current does not meet the needs regarding sexual and reproductive health.

Ecuador is not being left on the sidelines, Ecuadorian youth also created an immediate impact plan, seeking to achieve their participation and inclusion in the construction of the HIV diagnosis standards.

In the case of Brazil, it is priority for all actors to begin actions to stop any draft law seeking to criminalize the HIV transmission.

The workshop also served to make visible concrete needs, including the case of Bolivia, which is facing the withdrawal of the Global Fund. Given this situation, several civil organizations are about to close its doors due to lack of funding. More alarming still is the fact that the Government has announced they will only cover 50% of the total cost of ARVS. Primary prevention is also at stake because 90% of its funding is derived from international cooperation.

Another addressed point during the meeting was the migratory movement between the borders of Colombia and Venezuela, because due to high inflation in Venezuela and the devaluation of its currency, sex workers are crossing the border to carry out their work in Colombian territory, where it is much more profitable. However, there are no public policies aimed at addressing this situation, and even more when the use of condoms is committed, since in the Colombian border condoms are not cheap, and in the Venezuelan border can’t be found due to scarcity and the black market.

The meeting not only contributed to the guidance of clear and specific actions in the countries, but it also opened the picture about the situation that currently faces South America, and the great challenge facing this new generation of young people to address this epidemic.