Global Youth Partners
In September 2003, a group of 38 young people
between the ages of 15 and 26 from 27 countries around the world
founded Global Youth Partners (GYP). The Initiative, which is
youth-driven with support from UNFPA, aims to
rally partners and stakeholders to increase investment and strengthen
commitments for preventing HIV infections among young people, especially
among under-served youth.
||Young people are hit hard by the HIV/AIDS
||Over half of all new infections worldwide
are among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Every
day, 6,000 young people become infected with HIV – more
than five every minute.
||Young people often lack access to essential
information on HIV/AIDS and the means to protect themselves
from the virus.
||HIV is preventable and prevention works.
The returns on preventing infections among young people are
||Young people’s enthusiasm, creativity
and adaptability make them an essential partner with a vital
role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
|| Real changes come about when young people
are able to identify the issues of primary concern to them
and are empowered to develop, implement and manage youth-owned
strategies, activities, networks, organisations and campaigns.
|| Young people should be protagonists in
the fight against AIDS, not mere spectators.
Young people need to be placed at the centre
of the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There is no age restriction
for leadership. Young people are assets, not liabilities, their
voices need to be heard and their talents cultivated so they can
be instruments for change.
Combating HIV/AIDS among young people is at the heart of the international response
outlined in the 2001 United
Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) Declaration of
Commitment on HIV/AIDS.
The Declaration calls upon Member States to:
“By 2005, ensure that at least 90
per cent, and by 2010 at least 95 per cent of young men and women
aged 15 to 24 have access to the information, education, including
peer education and youth-specific HIV/AIDS education, and services
necessary to develop the life skills required to reduce their vulnerability
to HIV infection, in full partnership with young persons, parents,
families, educators and health-care providers.”
(Article 53, Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, UNGASS,
Four of the targets outlined in the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment are also indicators for measuring the implementation of the MDGs:
- Knowledge about HIV/AIDS among young people
- Condom use among young people
- Current school attendance among orphans
- HIV prevalence among young people
Achieving the Millenium Development Goals depends on progress in turning around the HIV/AIDS epidemic and, conversely, success in the response to the epidemic will not be possible without achievement of the MDGs.
Investing in expanding and accelerating access
to HIV prevention programmes for young people is fundamental to
achieving this commitment.