XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Youth RISE Up HIV Prevention! Developing effective harm reduction programming and best practices for young people who use drugs

K. Zanardi1, V. Broasca2

1Youth RISE, London, United Kingdom, 2ARAS - Romanian Association against AIDS, Bucharest, Romania

Issues: Underage (under 18) and young IDUs are at great risk contracting HIV and Hep C particularly. High risks behaviors are reported among these groups by different HIV/AIDS, drug treatment and sexual and reproductive health services providers. Services and resources for vulnerable under-age groups are very limited and when they are available often time services are not relevant, accessible or safe for young people. Many sexual and reproductive health organizations do not have information or resources on harm reduction, failing to adequately address the relationship between substance use and sexual health.
Description: In 2008, MTV's Staying Alive Foundation supported the development of the Youth RISE Up for HIV Prevention! Project. The program provides free access to youth-led developed training and advocacy resources for young people and health care providers around harm reduction and substance use.This two day facilitation, provides resources that were identified by the needs of young people, focusing on HIV, Hep C and overdose prevention as well as the intersection between sexual health and harm reduction.
The program has been piloted in Manipur, India and Bucharest, Romania with support from local NGO's and civil society including the ARAS (The Romanian Association Against AIDS) and the Manipur Intravenous Drug Users League.
Lessons learned: More than 50 young people participated in the project, providing essential skills in capacity building and harm reduction training. Many of participants wanted to address additional barriers around access to harm reductions services and resources.
Next steps: This workshop will provide participants with an overview of the guide with goals. A demonstration of one of the activities from one of the sessions in the guide will also be shown to participants, as well breakout groups to gain additional feedback from participants to help inform the new cycle of trainings that will be piloted in Mexico and Ukraine for 2010-2011.

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