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Youth Blogger: Hard Lessons Learned in Lobbying

Monday was my quintessential intern experience. Advocates for Youth rounded up interns from organizations across the city and had us join forces to lobby for the Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women and Youth Act of 2006, better known simply as PATHWAY.

I was excited as Monday approached. I was going to lobby. I was going to talk to the representatives. I would persuade them with jargon like PEPFAR, socially responsible spending, micro-lending, and female-initiated methods of prevention. I would reason with them on a personal level and try to show them what I considered to be the error of their ways. For a second, I think I probably convinced myself that my group would simply have to educate them on the scope of the epidemic in order to convince them to co-sponsor. It never occurred to me that lobbying would be hard and probably unsuccessful.

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Youth Blogger: Making Waves on Capitol Hill

Advocates for Youth intern Lylyana offers her reflections on the PATHWAY Act Intern Lobby Day on Monday, July 24.

As a 25 year-old female interning with Advocates for Youth, I have received many unrecognized privileges accessible to those of us in the United States and other developed countries. I have the ability to seek out education and resources that can protect me from HIV. I have learned the ability to negotiate during sexual encounters; much of which is not afforded to women and youth in developing nations. During my internship this summer, I have focused on international HIV/AIDS and how youth are affected. My passion has grown tremendously for this area. To hear that of the seventy-six percent of the young people infected in sub-Saharan Africa are girls can be disheartening. Yet I know that one person’s voice, story, and action can make a difference towards global HIV prevention.

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The True Meaning of the ABC’s

Letters of the alphabet are increasingly becoming used as more than just letters but as words, abbreviations, acronyms and HIV prevention strategies amongst other things.

As the 2006 High-Level Meeting for HIV/AIDS unfolds, I continue to witness the dramatic effect HIV/AIDS has on people and not just on a personal level but also internationally. The first two days of this meeting started with a Youth Summit getting together 60 young people from at least 28 countries to discuss the progress towards reaching the commitments relevant to other young people in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, to identify actions to be taken by governments and other stakeholders to address youth needs, to establish advocacy movements for change in our home countries and to train us on effective lobbying.

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Querida Blog: Dia de Jueves 01 de Junio

Hoy es un día particularmente interesante, encontré a mis delegados de sociedad civil quienes me orientaron mucho mejor en las reuniones, además me hablaron de la posibilidad de conversar con la Ministra de Salud de mi querido Perú quien a su vez es la representante política nacional para la reunión de revisión que ya es mañana, mientras tanto entre a uno de los paneles que se estaba dando, a estas Alturas querrás saber que son los paneles, bueno, los paneles, son mesas con invitados que discuten sobre algún tema en particular y que cuya sistematización se supone influye en la declaración de compromisos.

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La Marcha de Banderas

Si hay algo que de verdad me agrado y me lleno de energía y positivismo fue la Marcha de Banderas, se hizo desde el frente del edifico de las Naciones Unidas en donde ya sabes se hará mañana viernes la reunión de revisión de Alto Nivel de la Asamblea general de Naciones Unidas en VIH-sida.

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Sabias Tu lo que es el ABC?

No, no es el de la escuela, se refiere a la política oficial del gobierno de USA , A : abstinencia … fíjate, encima lo ponen primero …B : Be faithful, o sea se fiel … si claro, díganselo a Blanca Nieves y sus siete, ojo, son siete enanitos, sin contar a un príncipe que de azul solo tiene el nombre o los lentes de contacto que se yo, y C que quiere decir que uses Condon.

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Querida Blog: Dia Miercoles 31, parte 2

Ha sido un día realmente excitante, empiezo contándote que hubo una conferencia de prensa por la mañana de hoy, antes de eso, que crees? Me dieron una Hermosa cámara digital con las que he empezado a tomar algunas fotografías, jejeje, dicho sea de paso, todas las fotos que veas en mi blogsito las tome yo…. A ver, se presentaron cuatro personas, Scott Evertz, antiguo director de la Oficina Nacional de SIDA de USA, John Santelli, medico y profesor de la Universidad de Columbia y Beatrice Were, fundadora de la comunidad de Mujeres que viven con SIDA de Uganda, todos presentados por James Wagoner, presidente de Advocates for Youth. Todos hablaron del problema que los programas de prevención del VIH basados solo en la abstinencia plantean para el mundo de hoy, así pues, la abstinencia como única forma de prevención juega en contra de los pilares mismos de la Prevención: Los derechos, el respeto y la responsabilidad.

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Querida Blog: Dia Miercoles 31, parte 1

Amanece una vez más… a las cuatro y treinta de la mañana… pero para mi parecieran las 6 o 7de la mañana. Desde que llegue hace ya tres días me he sorprendido de lo temprano que el sol sale y lo tarde que se oculta aquí en New York, porque si, aunque no lo creas, ahora, este angelito te esta escribiendo desde New York. Entre otras cosas, he notado que la ciudad es grande y sus edificios muy altos que me cuesta creer que haya tanta gente en ellos, hasta incluso ya he tenido la oportunidad de extraviarme entre las calles.

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Youth Summit: Day 2

As I write, Victor from Sweden and Edford from Zambia are presenting on message building. The group, after yesterday's intensive crush of trainings and workshops, have become much more comfortable and light-hearted. Many are adorned in beige hats with "WYP?" (What's Your Position) on the front, from a youth awareness campaign which provides condoms to youth in nightclubs in Trinidad & Tobago.

I've been sitting down with folks during breaks to talk about some of their programs on the ground. Two major themes have really struck out to me:

Firstly, the passion, inspiration and intelligence of my generation is truly phenomenal. Looking around the room this morning, I am periodically moved to wonderment by the physical and symbolic beauty I find within the diversity of people in this room.

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Reporting Live from UN: Youth Summit Connecting Leaders

This is incredible. In this room are leading youth HIV activists from 20 or so countries in both the Global North and South as well as a wide variety of organizations. Tsutomo, a peer educator from Japan, Keesha, a national organizer from Jamaica, Amr, Middle East Coordinator for the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS from Egypt…collectively we represent every region of the world and every sector of HIV mobilization. I’ll be blogging in particular with Tabris, a soft-spoken Peruvian youth educator, and Tsholofelo, a young Botswanan activist whose bright skirts and tanktops are bringing some much-needed color to this gathering of suits. Our collective knowledge and social capital is massive, the energy is palpable, and the curiousity levels are high. It’s going to be hard to remain on-task with UNGASS preparation with 60 young, attractive adults in one room.

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