Success in youth-led advocacy: progress in supporting comprehensive, positive approaches to HIV prevention for youth in Ethiopia, Jamaica, Nigeria, and the United States
Advocates for Youth, Washington, United States
Issues: While HIV prevalence rates in some countries are showing
signs of stabilizing, the fact that young people still constitute almost half
of all new HIV infections demonstrates that more needs to be done. Political will is still lacking to
scale up evidence-based prevention programs for youth and to include young
people in program and policy design, implementation, and evaluation.
Description: Advocates for Youth works in partnership with youth-led NGOs
in Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Nigeria to support youth activist leadership councils
in each country. These councils are comprised of eight to ten young people ages
18 to 24, dedicated to advocating for programs and policies that will improve
youth sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) nationally and
internationally. Members of the
councils in Ethiopia, Jamaica and Nigeria exchange strategies south-to-south
and with a comparable council working to influence U.S. global HIV policy in
the United States. All councils
are further linked to other youth activists in low- and middle-income countries
through the International Youth Activist Network and a youth activist website,
Lessons learned: In Ethiopia, Jamaica, and
Nigeria, the youth councils have succeeded in:
Next steps: Advocates and its partners will
continue to support the advocacy efforts of the councils through training,
information sharing, and leveraging of new media within country,
south-to-south, and globally.
- Securing a commitment from the Minister of Health of
Nigeria for a budgetary allocation for youth SRHR programs in the 2010
- Securing the establishment of a National Youth
Federation with committees of youth representatives seated under the Ethiopian
- Establishment of a referral system on
university campuses in Jamaica, launched by the Ministry of Education that
expands access to reproductive health services for youth.
to improvements in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
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