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DREAMS HIV & AIDS YOUTH NETWORK. REPORT OF INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE - MEXICO 2008 BY ALEXIOUS ZINDOGA. BACKGROUND OF DREAMS. DREAMS is an organization which was formed in 2007 and was subsequently registered as a trust in May 2008.

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DREAMS HIV & AIDS YOUTH NETWORK

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Dreams hiv aids youth network

DREAMS HIV & AIDS YOUTH NETWORK

REPORT OF INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE - MEXICO 2008

BY

ALEXIOUS ZINDOGA


Background of dreams

BACKGROUND OF DREAMS

  • DREAMS is an organization which was formed in 2007 and was subsequently registered as a trust in May 2008.

  • DREAMS was formed when it was realized that there was a gap left out for youths empowerment through problem identification and development in HIV and AIDS.

  • It was noted that youths needed assistance to access accurate information and understanding their problems and advocating for their rights.

  • They should be provided with space and support and should be made aware of their roles in the community.

  • The organization mainly focuses on Advocacy, Care and Treatment, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Gender and MIPA and wish to empower the young people through these programs and specific activities.


Participation at international aids conference mexico

PARTICIPATION AT INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE-Mexico

  • I attended the conference focusing on skills to work with young people.

  • This report therefore covers the topics that I attended in the skills building workshops.


Dreams hiv aids youth network

TALKING ABOUT YOU-KNOW-WHAT: FINDING A LANGUAGE AND DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE IN TALKING TO CLIENTS ABOUT SEX

  • The session started with a presentation entitled “Advocating for Maternal Health” which revealed that 14 million young women between the ages of 15 – 19 years give birth every year. The same age group of young women face death due to complications. Issues that emerged were early pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion. These issues were noted to lead to adolescent marriages and disempowerment of young women in marriage relationships.

  • It was noted that young women do not seek antenatal care due to stigma. HIV positive women are regarded as non sexual beings and unfit to bear children. Hence very few women seek PMTCT services.

  • One speaker from Deliver for Youth Project said that Young women’s health and human rights are a necessary component of sustainable communities and national development and hence there is need for shared goals, underlying causes and solutions in order to move together with them. There is need for a Young People’s Involvement and Movement in order to address young people’s issues in maternal health, HIV and AIDS and disability. She further said that in order to involve young people there should be Participatory Needs Assessment as an intervention which will result in community participation and result in Youth Participatory Advocacy covering advocacy on safe sex and safe motherhood.


Working with young people in hiv and aids

WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IN HIV AND AIDS

  • This discussion centred on building relationships with the youths and then look at trigger issues such as moods, places, substance. It It was advised that one of the best ways was the use of movie clips and story boards and then design various role plays basing on the clips and then pose questions like, What would you say? What would you do? How do you think one feels about what you say?

  • We further explored the risks of disclosure, assessing on the situations that were of high risk, low and no risk when disclosing to a husband, boyfriend, commercial sex worker, HIV positive date. Different opinions were expressed at each situation and it was finally advised that any situation is depended upon the time, place, attitude and every individual has to think on how to make the situation a low risk.


Talking about sex

TALKING ABOUT SEX

When discussing with the young people one

can come up with questions like:

  • Why is it difficult to talk about sex?

  • What is the last time you had sex?

  • How do you feel? And you can sometimes expect responses like, fear, embarrassed, enjoyed, invasion of privacy, excitement, anxiety

  • How did that feel?


Sex and you

SEX AND YOU

One can further enquire from young persons about

sex by asking similar questions as below:

  • When did you first hear about sex?

  • Where did these stories come from?

  • What were the “rules” of myths about sex embedded in these? You may get responses like private, dirty, shameful, sinful, intimate, taboo.

  • Did you hear any from friends, media, your church, family or school stories?

  • Are there different stories for men and women?


Hiv and you

HIV AND YOU

You can ask the following questions in order to establish conversations with young persons about HIV and AIDS:

  • When did you first learn about HIV?

  • From whom did you learn?

  • What stories do you hear most?

  • What other stories have you heard about HIV

  • Which story do you believe most?

  • How did you learn about HIV?


Sources of hiv information

SOURCES OF HIV INFORMATION

Other questions might be to enquire on the sources of HIV information that the youths know which could be:

  • Media – which brings misunderstanding and anxiety

  • Disclosure – from friends

  • Homosexuality – being discussed by adults

  • Celebrities, and

  • When talking about infections


Why might it be difficult to talk about sex

WHY MIGHT IT BE DIFFICULT TO TALK ABOUT SEX?

Youths might come up with such responses:

  • HIV is associated with sex

  • Stigma

  • Blame/shame

  • HIV is associated with bad things

  • Discrimination in travel, employment, insurance and migration


Why it is difficult to talk to health professionals

WHY IT IS DIFFICULT TO TALK TO HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

The following points were noted:

  • Power dynamics

  • Viewing it as “not their business”

  • Fears of confidentiality

  • Relationship

  • Gender, Age, cultural, religious differences

  • Fears of being judged

  • Different ideas between health promoter and client’s sex experience.


How do we overcome the difficulties

HOW DO WE OVERCOME THE DIFFICULTIES?

  • There is need to come down to the same level of understanding with the young person

  • Avoid technical language

  • Be aware of your own beliefs and effects

  • Be thoughtful about language we talk, questions we ask and questions we may avoid asking.


So what about it

SO WHAT ABOUT IT?

IT’S OK TO HAVE SEX AND IT’S OK TO TALK ABOUT IT


Working with youths strategies of effectively engaging youths

WORKING WITH YOUTHS: STRATEGIES OF EFFECTIVELY ENGAGING YOUTHS

The session started with a presentation from India on the Support of

Young Women’s Organizations where there was the main

highlight that most young women in India do not go for VCT or

Treatment due to high stigma and discrimination. It was agreed that

it is the Global trend that young women suffer stigma and

discrimination. The following advocacy strategies were agreed upon:

  • Change gender inequality

  • Encourage couple participation among young couples

  • Move away from women’s issues and be inclusive

  • Minimize women’s dependency upon men


Important comments from other people

IMPORTANT COMMENTS FROM OTHER PEOPLE

In response the above advocacy strategies there were some comments

which were:

  • We should understand that we cannot empower but provide skills to empower youths.

  • There is need for young women to support each other (Don’t look down upon each other and avoid pulling each other down)

  • Are mothers empowered? If YES then mothers should nurture their daughters. We cannot expect a young woman to be empowered if the mother is not.

  • The following was agreed as the way forward:

  • There is need to organize for an International AIDS Conference for young women and young man.

  • Young people should unite and work in partnerships.

  • Young people’s organizations should establish regional and international exchange visits.


Live safe play safe

LIVE SAFE PLAY SAFE

  • This is an HIV and AIDS Prevention and education through Sport and Play programme run by Right To Play in Siera Leone. The project is as follows:

  • Use Sport and Play programmes to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities.

  • Targets girls, children with disabilities, children affected or infected with HIV and AIDS, street children, former child soldiers and refugees.

  • Games and Activities are divided into 3 age groups, 6-9, 10-14, 15-19


Live safe play safe cont

LIVE SAFE PLAY SAFE (Cont)

  • The games and activities mainly focus on knowledge, attitudes and skills.

  • Knowledge – build knowledge about HIV & AIDS, transmission, risk reduction, strategies, causes and effects of stigma, benefits of testing, healthy living and rights of children.

  • Attitudes – promote self-esteem and confidence, hope and optimism, empathy and compassion and motivation to adopt healthy behaviours,

  • Skills – develop the ability to manage stress, resist peer pressure, cope with stress and loss, communicate assertively, identify and challenge stigma, negotiate, cooperate with others and work in teams, make decisions and set goals, motivate and lead others.


Coaches and peer leaders

COACHES AND PEER LEADERS

  • As leaders they are equipped with information about:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the Child.

  • How rights are typically violated among persons living with HIV and AIDS and children infected or affected by HIV and AIDS.

  • The rights of children to have the knowledge and skills to be able to make informed and healthy decisions.

  • How to use sport and play to build supportive environments where all community members including children and youth, can claim their rights.


Success of the lsps project

SUCCESS OF THE LSPS PROJECT

  • Developed a female sports league for Survivors of torture and rape.

  • Recognized by and work with Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs and the Centre for Victims of Torture.

  • Participants reported an increase in confidence, reduced stress, an improved ability to manage conflict and leadership skills.


Mucho gracias siyabonga kakulu thank you very much tatenda

MUCHO GRACIASSIYABONGA KAKULUTHANK YOU VERY MUCHTATENDA


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