Anguilla Represented at HIV/AIDS and SRH Meeting of Youth Leaders

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By anguillian May 8, 2017 12:41 Updated

 

 

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L-R: Glenneva Hodge, Devon Carter and Rochelle Rogers

Caribbean Youth Leaders gathered in Port-of – Spain, Trinidad, from April 21st-22nd to discuss and examine the role of youth advocates in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and advancing sexual health issues around the region. Anguilla was represented by Anguilla CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, Ms. Glenneva Hodge & Mr. Devon Carter, and also Ms. Rochelle Rogers, Programme Officer –SRH in the Chronic Disease Unit, Ministry of Health who is also a former CARICOM Youth Ambassador.

The two day meeting featured presentations on the structural factors that underlie the HIV/AIDS epidemic and high teenage pregnancy rates in the region. The meeting underscored that while progress has been made in declining HIV rates overall, there are still some disturbing trends among young persons with increasing HIV infections in persons age 15-24 especially young persons in key populations such as MSM, LGBTQ and CSW.

Youth delegates noted that from different countries, many had experienced some of the same issues, such as discrepancies between the age of consent and age of majority, leading to young person often having difficulty accessing contraceptives and other health services needed to reduce the risk of STI transmission and pregnancy. In addition, continued stigma and discrimination associated with HIV links to persons being reluctant to get tested for HIV.
Mr. Carter expressed that he felt honored to have represented Anguilla and appreciated the chance to learn about the key youth populations in regard to HIV. He stated that “we are now able to communicate with organisations within such key populations such as CVC’s (Caribbean vulnerable communities) and SWC (Sex Workers Coalition).

Ms. Hodge was grateful for the opportunity to interact with representatives from key at risk populations. The forum allowed for a greater understanding of the issues and barriers faced by many young people in accessing services in relation to their sexual and reproductive health.

Ms. Rogers welcomed the meeting and urges young persons to become their own advocates and demand that they be not held in the dark but as integral partners in ensuring equal opportunity access to services.

The delegates wish to express their gratitude to PANCAP, PAHO and the Government of Anguilla (Department of Youth and Culture) for facilitating Anguilla’s participation at this event. The Anguilla delegates are looking for ways to instill the advocacy framework, and are seeking interested young persons or organizations to assist. For more information please contact Ms.Rogers at 497-3789.

2nd May 2017

– Press Release

(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

anguillian
By anguillian May 8, 2017 12:41 Updated

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