Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV (UNYPA) hosted their fourth Y+ Summit from the 20th to 22nd April 2021 at hotel Africana in Kampala. The theme of the Y+Summit was “OPENING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV”, with three sub themes.
Y+ 2021 Summit Subthemes
Subtheme 1 was ‘Gender and mental health integration for YPLHIV’ which acknowledges that HIV prevention and treatment efforts not only require a clinical approach but must also address gender inequalities for young people, particularly young people living with HIV (YPLHIV). Furthermore, this subtheme was aimed at empowering young people to become human rights watch dogs for their communities and identify or report any form of rights violations, violence and provide greater support for survivors of violence.
Sub theme 2 was ‘Innovations for increased access to services: especially in The Covid 19 Pandemic, Its Impact on the YPLHIV and SRHR-HIV programming and advocacy’. This subtheme was aimed at creating an open dialogue on the effects of Covid19 on PLHIV, how it redefined the delivery of SRHR HIV services, adaptations, coping mechanisms and lessons learnt. Under this focus attention was also given to using media as a tool for advocacy to demand human rights, increase demand for SRHR HIV service delivery and to become positive role models in driving key messages in communities.
Sub theme 3 was ‘Quality of life of young people living with HIV.’ The sub-theme focus was on orientating young people on the existence of the fourth 90 and how it aims to improve the quality of life for YPLHIV by promoting treatment literacy, adherence to ARVs, information on nutrition as well as creating good relationships with health workers, caretakers, guardians, and parents. This subtheme centred on the importance of self-care and mental health awareness for young people as well as strategies on how to overcome HIV related criminalization.
PATA alongside several partners continues to support and endorse UNYPAs’ Y+ summit . Twenty PATA peer supporters attended the Y-Summit, ten of which had enrolled for the first time and the experience was invaluable to them.