The ICASA Youth Program is off to an energetic start with the Youth Pre-Conference. Taking place at the Zimbali Conference Centre from the 27th to the 28th November, the Pre-Conference was launched with statements from Annah Sango, the Dr Ihab Ahmed Abdelrahman, ICASA Director, Mr Luc Bodea and Prof. Hubert Gijzen.
The theme of the Youth Pre-Conference is “Agenda 2030: Delivering for the Youth in the Post 2015 Era”. Following the opening ceremony, the program took off with a session examining the nexus between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), harnessing the demographic dividend and the need to assure Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for young people.
Following this session, parallel sessions provided participants with the opportunity to begin examining specific issues. These included an engaging discussion on “the age of consent for young people to access HIV services”, young people living with HIV leading change and, experiences and lessons in the SDGs formulation process.
The day closed with an exciting presentation from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). The session looked at on-going efforts to develop an HIV vaccine – from discovery of the virus to ongoing field trials that have reached efficacy. The presentation challenged participants to advocate for increased access to treatment, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) and other new prevention technologies available in the market.
During closing, participants were encouraged to continue engaging with sessions directly and through social media. They were welcomed to follow the ICASA Youth Front channels across the social media spectrum.
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