Take Action

Join the movement of young people working to protect our health and lives

Action Center

Take action to help ensure young people's health and rights.


Donate now

Support youth activists working for reproductive and sexual health and rights.


Sign up

Get text and email updates


April 2010 iYAN Newsletter

April iYAN

Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network (iYAN) consists of youth activists and adult allies from low and middle-income countries who are working to influence policies and programs in their countries and internationally to support improved youth reproductive and sexual health. Members of the iYAN connect to share information about their work; are provided information about scholarships and networking opportunities; get up-to-date information on downloadable advocacy materials and tool kits; and receive a monthly newsletter with information on advocacy, youth activism, and mobilization on important issues like sex education, access to contraception, and prevention of adolescent maternal mortality and HIV.

Sharing Our Passion

Do I have a right that counts?
By Lamaris, Nigeria
I come from a part of the world where the female folks are not only treated as inferior, but even often regard themselves as inferior to males. A saying often said is, “we were created from the man and hence subject to the man’s wishes and demands,” even if this means going against our own wishes and demands as females and human beings. Do not get me wrong– I am not saying that the female folks are in any way superior to their male counterparts–I only mean our rights and demands, sometimes if not all the time, should be seen as equal.
Aisha, a 15-year old young girl is one in a million cases of forced-early marriages, a case that is predominant in the northern part of Nigeria. Aisha, as a child, grew up attending a UBE (Universal Basic Education) scheme school; a scheme established to provide free basic education to all citizens but that has not complied with its mandate, hence imposing charges and levies to children in the schools. Aisha tried to make her best effort in school because she had a curious and inquisitive mind, with the hopes of one day becoming a teacher to help guide children to making positive decisions in their lives. These hopes were brought to ruins when on one sunny Friday, she returned home from school to find her father with a stranger, and on coming into the house, she heard her father saying to the man “it ace ken an,” meaning “she is the one.” Not knowing what it meant, shegreeted the stranger and went into the house to see her mother.
Life continued for Aisha, until about twenty days later when she returned home from school only to meet the same man in their house, but this time her mother was also seated with the group, and Aisha was told that she was being given out in marriage, as the man (who apparently had some money to play with), had offered her family money in exchange for her. So there was Aisha, 15-years old, going on to become a wife to a man twice her age, and eventually a possible mother at 16 years or maybe less.
Now, at her age, in countless United Nations and African Union agreements like the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” and “African Youth Charter,” she is supposed to be a child with rights. But, the reality is that she is a young girl without any privilege or voice of her own, even when there is a constitution in place that states that everyone has a right to speak and be heard. Essentially, being female limits her choices to make any developmental decisions. Given that her cultural environment limits her fundamental right as a human being, how do we begin to bridge the gap between culture and a lady’s fundamental human right?
For how long will this continue? Does it mean we don’t have a common proverb that promotes the rights of women to keep our hopes and aspiration, dreams and visions from being shattered? It’s time we speak and refuse to be intimidated by our culture and tradition.

Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Jamaican Perspective
By Nekeisha, Jamaica

Safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health of youth in Jamaica is everyone’s business. Comprising nearly one-third of Jamaica’s total population of over 2.6 million, Jamaican youth ages 10 to 24 are placed at risk of unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and other threats to their sexual and reproductive health due to the combined effects of early sexual activity and lack of relevant information, services, and skills to make informed decisions about their sexual health. The disconcerting fact is that the lives of young Jamaican girls and young women, in particular, are continuously affected by more and more young people becoming infected with STIs, including HIV, as well as unintended pregnancies.

It is important to underscore that there are several cultural factors that influence the sexual attitudes and behaviors of young women in Jamaica. Indeed, behavioral patterns do not reflect sufficient cognizance of the incidence of high-risk sexual activities, but are critical to understanding the cultural nuances that define sexuality among young women in Jamaica.

In Jamaica, older men often coerce young girls into early sexual activity in exchange for gifts, “free rides,” school fees, and other forms of economic support. Poverty-stricken circumstances that define the realities of many girls in Jamaica make them all the more vulnerable. In some circumstances, mothers ‘pimp’ their daughters to engage in transactional sex, so that they can purchase items like cell-phones, clothes and food. Given lack of other opportunities, this has become the norm among many young women as an easier way to buy what they need. In many inner-city communities, plagued by violence and poverty, it’s seen as the norm and part of a painful reality.

Homosexuality can be classified as a taboo subject for most Jamaicans, as many would regard Jamaica as a homophobic society judging from the stories and cases that have been exposed by the international media. An interesting observation, however, is that that there is more of a tolerance for gay women or lesbians than gay men, which often affects their access to health care services. In Jamaica, the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) community is forced into a culture of secrecy and fear surrounding their identity. Only a few agencies will represent them if they are the victims of abuse or exploitation as they are regarded as acting contrary to the standards of humanity. These actions are also guided by the current laws of Jamaica, which forbids homosexual relationships.

Peer pressure also plays a role in the sexual decisions young women make in Jamaica. As young women, ourselves, we have been in situations where guys have tried to convince us that if we really loved or cared for them, then we’d have sex with them–no questions asked. This could then lead to the question, what is love? Is this the only way to demonstrate or prove love and should love be proven or tested? Who gives young men the right to dictate the terms of our love? This is a common equation for many young women. I find that guys have been misled into thinking that the decision of whether to engage in sex is theirs to make on the girl’s behalf. What’s with all the pressure? I have heard comments from some of my girlfriends saying they chose to have sex, because it just seemed natural if they were ready to take their relationship to the next level. Few admit that they do it because they want to please their partner.

These sentiments are common among young women in Jamaica. At times, young women are confused about their sexuality, while others base their decisions on religion, family, peer pressure, society or personal values. As a young Jamaican woman, I can say that issues regarding my sexual identity and sexual decisions deserve careful thought and should be made on my own.

National Youth Coalition of Sri Lanka Promotes Recommendations to Recently Elected President

In Sri Lanka, young people ages 10 to 24 constitute 28% of the total population of 19.1 million, with a majority of them falling within the adolescent age group. Though there are strong cultural and religious traditions against sex before marriage in the country, the age of sexual debut for both males and females has been found to be early: 15.3 years of age for males and14.4 years of age for females. Out-of-school adolescents revealed a higher percentage (22%) of sexually active adolescents. There is a need to promote responsible, caring attitudes towards each other, to young persons of both sexes, and promote responsible sexual behavior so that the effects of these social problems and others like sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, will be mitigated in the future.

The National Youth Coalition of Sri Lanka (NYCSL) is a youth run entity that advocates for the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) rights and needs of youth in Sri Lanka.

NYCSL provided recommendations to the new President of Sri Lanka, while congratulating him for his success in the elections. We recommended that he consider the following recommendations in the areas of youth, health and education, upon his accession to the position of Presidency of Sri Lanka. The recommendations have been divided into 4 key areas: Policy, Services, Awareness and Advocacy.

a) Ensure the involvement of young people in designing policies that affect their lives nationally, regionally and internationally;

b) Develop policies that would ensure ASRH education/capacity building into educational curriculums: including schools, universities, colleges, vocational training institutes, military;

c) academies and other such institutions with a high concentration of youth; and,

d) Develop policies that address the SRH needs of young people including those living with HIV, gay and lesbian persons and disabled youth.

a) Facilitate the provision of youth focused & youth friendly ASRH services and resources island wide;
b) Increase and improve access to these youth friendly services, information & resources island wide; and,

c) Focus on provision of ASRH/HIV information to ALL youth (through youth organizations/youth networks).

Use key influencers including media/CBOs/NGOs, Religious leaders as well as established institutions to provide awareness programs on ASRH;
a. Develop a legally and state recognized youth advocacy group in Sri Lanka that can become a voice for youth on ASRH related issues; and,

b. Advocate with families, religious institutions and key public figures to include ASRH in formal and informal educational streams.

What’s New at Advocates for Youth?

Say hi to our new staff!

Nikki Serapio
Nikki is the Manager of New Media Strategies at Advocates for Youth. Nikki works to strengthen and expand Advocates’ destination sites as well as the organization’s presence on social networks. Previously, he worked for Involver, a Facebook marketing startup, and Americans Against the Darfur Genocide, a Sudan advocacy nonprofit. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.

Rosanna Dixon
Rosanna is the Manager of Graphic Design and Internet Services. She is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art + Design and is well versed in merging web programming with design aesthetics. Rosanna helped co-found the magazine Artcade. She recently participated in the prestigiousProject M design program for which she helped found a pop-up free pie stand to help break down barriers in the community.

Durryle Brooks
Durryle is the Program Manager for GLBTQ Initiatives. Durryle has worked at Baltimore City Health Department, HIV/STD Bureau as a community outreach worker; John Hopkins University as a research assistant; and San Francisco State University as a community programming advisor, teaching assistant, sexual assault prevention educator, and assistant resident hall director. Prior to pursuing a graduate degree, Durryle served as a program officer for Building STEPS, Inc., a non-profit organization that exposes ethnically/racially diverse high school students to science and technology-based careers. Durryle has a bachelor of arts in religious studies from St. Mary’s College and a master of arts in sexuality studies from San Francisco State University.

Recently on Amplify…

Young people from all over the world have joined Amplify, www.amplifyyourvoice.org, to share their stories, experiences, passion and work towards ensuring young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Amplify is a website and safe space for young people to express themselves and show the world who they are!

Here are some featured blogs from young people. Who knows? It can be you too! All you have to do is check out the website, join, and post your blogs! It’s that easy!

Advocates for Youth at Africa, Sexual Health and Rights Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The 4th Africa, Sexual Heath and Rights Conference took place from February 9-12, 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this year, where over 700 participants convened to discuss a range of issues regarding sexuality and rights in the context of Africa. Issues of masculinity to decriminalization of same-sex unions to the right to a positive, pleasurable sexual life were some of the topics addressed at the conference. Unfortunately, youth participation was at a minimal, given the exception of local youth whom attended including members of the Ethiopian youth Council for Higher Opportunities (ECHO) supported by Advocates for Youth and Talent Youth Association based in Addis.

To learn more about the conference, go to www.africasexuality.org

Read some blogs from Advocates for Youth on the conference here:

Advocates for Youth Co-Sponsors Youth Reception co-chaired with Ethiopian Minister of Health and African Union Ambassadors

Advocates for Youth and International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) co-sponsored an evening reception on February 11, 2010 in Addis Ababa, where youth leaders from all over Africa were invited to mingle with policymakers and ambassadors of the African Union. Ms. Clara Nkwemi, a young woman and feminist advocate from Cameroon spoke on her experiences in the rural eastern part of Cameroon and the importance of fuel from young women in the implementation of sexual and reproductive health programs. His Excellency, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, honored us as co-chair of the reception where he made a speech emphasizing the importance of youth leadership in the policy and program design, implementation, and evaluation. The speech was, then, followed by Rwanda Ambassador and African Union (AU) commissioner, Ms. Bience Gwanas who spoke discussed the issues of maternal mortality as it affects our work and brought specific recognition of the recently launched campaign by the African Union, CARMMA—Campaign to Accelerate the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa.

Over 60 people attended, including Ethiopia’s new PEPFAR country director; a Global Fund representative, and US, Dutch, Sierra Leone, and Togo’s African Union Ambassadors. Many young leaders left with new contacts, potential collaborations, and updates on policies affecting SRHR among youth in their own countries. Overall, the reception created a starting point for collaborations between youth leaders and policymakers to address SRHR together effectively and sustainably.

Advocates for Youth and International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) train youth activists from Ethiopia, Cameroon, Nigeria, and South Africa

On February 13 and 14, Advocates for Youth and IWHC collaborated to host an “Advocacy in Practice” (AiP) training in Addis Ababa, following the Africa, Sexual Health and Rights Conference, where over 20 experienced youth advocates from Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Cameroon came together to discuss best advocacy practices in their respective countries, challenges, and lessons learned when lobbying national policymakers on issues affecting young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Selected youth participants, with experience on particular regional and international agreements presented the assigned agreement to be shared as a tool to help enhance their advocacy goals. The agreements presented and discussed were: Maputo Plan of Action, African Women’s Protocol, UNAIDS Framework for Gender, Women and Girls, and the African Youth Charter. Sessions engaged participants in skills-based discussions on topics from how to speak to dignatories to crafting an effective message.

By the end of the training, the participants strategized by country to develop an advocacy plan where they would coordinate to achieve a policy objective:

In Cameroon, participants will work to ensure that the implementation of youth-friendly health services. Their plan is to reinforce existing services and make them friendly. They plan to target the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Basic Education, and the Ministry of Secondary Education. They will measure their advocacy plans by meetings they coordinate with allies and Ministries. Some suggestions to create youth-friendly environments to existing services are setting aside two rooms in each hospital for young people; systematic training peer counselors on youth-friendly standards; and, request that hospitals have free access to Internet for clients to reach.

In Nigeria, participants will advocate for two policy objectives: 1) comprehensive sex education to implemented in schools and out-of-school, with a focus on adolescent girls, and 2) repeal laws that discriminate against women and LGBTQI. Specific research needs to be conducted to determine which laws will be of particular focus for advocacy efforts. The Nigerian participants plan to conduct advocacy visits and media roundtables, particularly targeting state and local governments, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Ministry of Women. Measures of success are based on monitoring the media, disaggregating data on implementation of CSE in and out of school, and number of reports, advocacy visits and media stories after roundtable discussions.

In Ethiopia, members of Advocates’ International Youth Speak Out project, and coordinating together as members of a council, Ethiopian youth Council for Higher Opportunities (ECHO) plan to advocate for comprehensive sex education to be implemented in Addis Ababa. The current curriculum is not sex education, but rather a biology course. They plan to target the media, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth, and Ministry of Culture.

South Africa’s plan will be further developed and presented in the near future.

For interest in these advocacy initiatives, contact Mimi at mimi@advocatesforyouth.org!

Read All About It

Fight HIV with tobacco? Yeah, we said the same thing!

“Condoms work well, but they also prevent fertility, so if you want to have children and you’re part of a community where there’s high risk of HIV infection, you’ve got a problem,” points out Professor Julian Ma, of St George’s University of London. “Also, in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s very difficult for a woman to insist on condom use.” Now, there’s a team of researchers across 39 institutes that are focused on neutralizing the virus before it can cause infection – and this is where pulverised tobacco leaves might provide the answer. The idea of using plants to create antibodies to disease was initially pushed away in the late 1980’s, but it’s coming back with renewed acceptance.

To read more, click here: Fighting HIV in developing countries – with tobacco

The World’s First HIV/AIDS Clinic in Haiti Begins Reconstruction

After the January 12 earthquake in Haiti killed workers, destroyed buildings and suspended work—it also destroyed the first HIV/AIDS clinic, Gheskio. The clinic has been designated a public utility and critical component of Haiti’s medical system and contributed to lowering the prevalence of HIV from 6.1% of Haiti’s population in 1993 to 2.2% today. Dr. Pape, a Haitian-born doctor working at Gheskio said, “The earthquake set us back about five years,” estimating $10 million in damage.

To read more about the clinic’s reconstruction, click here: Haitian AIDS Clinic Regroups

Federal Prosecutors seek to overturn Mexico City gay marriage law

In December 2009, the gay marriage law was approved in Mexico City and is due to take effect in March, the first of its kind in Latin America. However, the federal Attorney General’s office plans to overturn the law, because the believe it “violates the principle of legality, because it strays from the constitutional principle of protecting the family.” Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Church and President Felipe Calderon’s conservative National Action Party have harshly criticized the law and support the overturn.

To read more about the overturn of the Mexico City gay marriage law, click here: Feds seek to overturn Mexico City gay marriage law

What is it like to be gay in China?
In 1997 China, being gay was illegal and in 2001, being gay is defined as a mental disorder. Although China’s first gay pride festival was last year and society is becoming increasingly accepting of homosexuality, life in China as a gay person still remains difficult. In February, the first gay pageant was cancelled, with orders from the police. Three men share their stories of what it is like to be gay in China by addressing issues of forced marriage, conformity of sexual identity, coming out, feeling different, gay websites, gay night clubs, and thoughts on the cancellation of the gay pageant.
To read more about stories of being gay in China, click here: Being gay in China: Your stories (BBC)
Success in Chile: Legislation suppports free distribution of emergency contraceptives!

In January, President Michelle Bachelet signed a law to allow emegency contraception (EC) to be distributed freely in Chile. While EC is already legally sold in Chile’s pharmacies, the new law will allow its free distribution in public hopitals, free access to information about all legal forms of birth control, including EC, and makes sex education mandatory in government sanctioned in high schools. However, it allows schools to define those courses according to their educational principles, which would exempt Catholic schools from discussing condom usage. To read more details on the legislation in Chile, click here:
Chile’s Bachelet Gives Green Light To Reproductive Health Legislation

My Voice Counts!

What’s Your Country’s PEPFAR Partnership Plan with the United States? Find out and Let Us Know!

For years, Advocates has been working to influence U.S. Foreign Policy on HIV/AIDS as it relates to young people. Since the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was first authorized in 2003, Advocates has continued to push for policy that supports comprehensive HIV prevention education for young people, integration of HIV and reproductive health services, including access to condoms, and flexibility for in-country implementers to better respond to their epidemic.

Now, with the reauthorization of PEPFAR, there is a greater emphasis on the need for “in-country decision making,” and “flexibility according to local epidemiology.” Recipient countries, or “partners,” are now being called upon to design their own plans on how to use PEPFAR funding, called “Partnership Frameworks.”

Issued in September 2009, the Partnership Framework Guidance helps countries receiving PEPFAR funds to draft their partnership frameworks. In this document, they must state their goals, provide a comprehensive epidemiological evaluation of the country, map out the international and local partners in the response to the epidemic in-country, and identify how the country will be working with OGAC to build its capacity to eventually reach a point where it can manage and finance its own response to HIV and AIDS.

The completed partnership frameworks of Angola, Ghana, Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho are available on the PEPFAR website. For most countries and regions, Partnership Frameworks are in development, and THIS is where YOU come in.

For a fuller list of important guidance documents, check out this page on the PEPFAR site: http://www.pepfar.gov/guidance/index.htm.

While the design of these frameworks is to be spearheaded by recipient governments, you have an opportunity and a role to play to make sure that that young people’s needs with respect to HIV/AIDS are included and prioritized. Furthermore, you might want to watch out for the following three areas of concern with respect to the current strategy that Advocates has identified to date:

The absence of the term “comprehensive sex /sexuality education,” which leaves flexibility for less comprehensive programs to be implemented as part of HIV prevention efforts.
The omission/lack of recognition of young people living with HIV and AIDS (YLPWHA) and how to respond to their needs for HIV prevention and reproductive health services. YLPWHA face a uniquely challenging experience of transitioning from childhood sero-positivity during which they were considered innocent by society, to adolescence, during which they are suddenly subject to shame and disapproval due their HIV status and emerging sexual desire that is characteristic of adolescent development.
The need for additional focus on integration of family planning and HIV programs as it relates to young people. The Five Year Strategy includes a provision that emphasizes linking family planning and HIV programs, but this may not translate into actual delivery of integrated services for youth, including YPLWHA.


Advocates for Youth would really appreciate you investigating what your country or region is drafting with OGAC. The Ministry of Health is usually the coordinating institution to draft the document, so that’s a good place to start.Find out where your country is in the process of developing their framework and who is involved. Are civil society organizations involved? Are young people involved? Are people living with HIV/AIDS included? How can you get involved? Is comprehensive sex education included? Are the needs of young people living with HIV/AIDS addressed? Will the plan support integrated HIV and family planning services for youth?. As members of civil society and as young people, you have the right to know and the right to influence the language of the framework.

Advocates for Youth would welcome the opportunity to help ensure that young people are prioritized within country partnerships frameworks. If you have information that you would like to share with us, please contact Mimi at mimi@advocatesforyouth.org.

Fifth World Youth Congress to be held in Istanbul, Turkey: July 31-August 13, 2010

The 5th World Youth Congress is to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 31 – August 13, 2010, where 1,000 young people from around the world will meet during İstanbul’s year as the European Capital of Culture. You will have the chance to learn a lot about Turkish culture, about Turkish people, and the history of one of the oldest civilizations of the world – which is now the second fastest growing modern economy in the world after China.

Registration is open and you can apply here: www.turkiye2010.org

Make new Facebook friends! JOIN the group here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=11541864962&ref=nf

You mean that I can submit an essay and get a free Advocates for Youth notebook?
YOUR voice is an essential part of what makes this newsletter a SUCCESS. Please submit your stories to share with other youth activists from around the world! If you are one of the FIRST 10 iYAN members to submit an essay that follows the guidelines below, you will WIN a blue Advocates for Youth notebook and pen (to write more essays, of course!).
Here are the guidelines for writing an essay:
· Keep your essay to no more than 500 words.
· Use language that is simple and easy for non-native English speakers to read.
· Write about sexual and reproductive issues that you care about and/or what you are doing to make a difference. Share your experiences working on sexual and reproductive health issues and policies—tell your story. What’s going on with access to contraception and family planning services for youth, abortion, gender disparities, maternal mortality, traditional harmful practices, HIV/AIDS, stigma and homophobia, etc.? What are the challenges facing young people in your country? What are the challenges for you as an activist? Why did you get involved in this movement to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people? What is working to improve programs and policies and young people’s sexual and reproductive health?
Also, please note that:
· If you have a photo, would like us to include it with your essay, and can send it via email, please do! It’s okay if you do not have a photo, but we would like to bring a face to your words when we have the chance.
· Advocates for Youth edits all published materials, so we will send you the revised draft for your approval before it is featured in the newsletter. We want to make sure that you are happy with the final product as well!
· When you submit an essay, it may not appear right away in the next issue but we will be sure to include it in the next possible newsletter.
· Even if you submitted an essay, you can still send others for upcoming issues of the newsletter.
· You will receive an email by the next iYAN edition as to whether or not you are one of the first 10 people to submit an essay.
If you have questions on how to submit your essay, please contact Mimi at mimi@advocatesforyouth.org. Do it soon!! You could be one of the first 10!

Let’s Work Together for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Rights

Are you an organization working for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth in your country and internationally?

Are you an activist that’s interested in the recognition of sexual diversity and advocacy for the right to all-inclusive comprehensive sex education?

Are you or your organization interested in working with Advocates for Youth on GLBT rights and advocacy?

Let us know!

GLBT youth face tremendous difficulties growing up in societies where heterosexuality is often presented as the only acceptable orientation, and homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender are regarded as deviant. Research suggests that homophobia and heterosexism greatly contribute to higher rates of suicide, violence victimization, risk behavior for HIV infection, and substance abuse among GLBT youth as compared to their heterosexual peers. In recent years, however, a number of promising programs have been established to help GLBT youth gain the skills and support that they need to live healthy lives.
Advocates for Youth is interested in working with you! We are interested in learning more about the challenges GLBT youth face in your country and what we can do, together, to address these challenges!
Contact Mimi Melles, Manager of the International Youth Speak Out project at mimi@advcoatesforyouth.org with questions and comments!

Tools You Can Use

Check out this Briefing Paper on “Unwanted Pregnancies and Abortion: Issues of Social Justice for Women Living with HIV”
By the World AIDS Campaign, in partnership with the International AIDS Women’s Caucus, Ipas, FEIM, and CHANGE.

Check out this briefing paper, “Unwanted pregnancies and abortion: Issues of social justice for women living with HIV.”, which serves as a contribution to Cairo+15 and now Beijing+15 on sexual and reproductive rights. The document can be found athttp://www.worldaidscampaign.org/en/Constituencies/Women/Unwanted-Pregnancies-and-Abortion

Celebrating 25 Country Report Cards on HIV Prevention for Women and Girls: Let’s see if your country is published!

The ‘HIV Prevention for Women and Girls’ report cards are a joint initiative of IPPF, UNFPA and Young Positives, under the umbrella of the Global Coalition of Women and AIDS. This World AIDS Day, the initiative wants to celebrate the development of 25 advocacy report cards that were developed between 2006 and 2009. Each report card summarizes the situation of HIV prevention strategies and services for girls and young women in a specific country and provides recommendations for key stakeholders.

Each of the report cards systematically analyzes the HIV prevention situation according to 5 different thematic areas:
Legal Provision;
Policy Provision;
Availability of Services;
Accessibility of Services; and,
Participation and Rights.

Report cards have been developed in the following countries:

• East and South East Asia – Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Thailand.
• Eastern Europe and Central Asia – The Russian Federation and Serbia.
• Latin America and the Caribbean- Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru
• North Africa – Sudan and Morocco
• Sub Saharan Africa – Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland and Uganda.
• South Asia – Indian and Nepal
The report cards have been widely disseminated among the national partners (IPPF Member Associations, UNFPA country offices and UNAIDS country offices) and among other key national stakeholders. They have been used in advocacy events and follow-up activities by the national partners and target populations, including:

• Policy makers and national decision making bodies that address issues around HIV prevention for young women and girls;
• Program managers and service providers working on HIV prevention strategies and programs for young women and girls; and,
• Young people..

Many of the report cards have been translated and printed into local languages to improve their reach.

Please find below a link to the whole set of the 25 report cards and their respective translations:

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact agarner@ippf.org.

UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education Released

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently released the “International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education: An evidence-informed approach for schools, teachers, and health educators.”

We wanted to bring your attention to this two-part document, which provides a framework to develop and implement comprehensive sexuality education to ensure that young people have access to evidence-based, medically accurate, and age-appropriate information to make safe and healthy decisions.

UNAIDS estimates that in 2008 there were 33.8 million individuals living with HIV. The large number of individuals infected with HIV categorizes the disease as an epidemic.

Providing comprehensive sexuality education to children and young people is viewed by the Executive Director of UNAIDS as the most important opportunity in breaking the trajectory of the epidemic.”

The International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education serves as a practical resource for decision-makers and professionals working within educational and health fields, mapping out the core concepts of comprehensive sexuality education in an age-appropriate schematic. The document is separated into two volumes:

· Volume I outlines the rationale for comprehensive sexuality education, detailing the evidence base for the effectiveness of such interventions.

This volume also provides details on the core characteristics of effective programming and how to build support among key stakeholders, such as parents, educators, and community leaders.

· Volume II , a companion guide released by UNESCO in collaboration with UNAIDS, focuses on the topics and learning objectives for comprehensive sexuality education.

The goals of UNESCO’s sexuality education guide include giving students accurate information, having students explore values, and encouraging youth to make responsible and informed decisions. The guide provides learning objectives on sexuality education for each grade level.

Advocates for Youth has a form to sign-up for the iYAN on our website. Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too!

Sign up for Updates