My name is Yana, I am 18, and I was born with HIV. I am from Ukraine. And I represent Eurasian Union of adolescents and youth Teenergizer.
Which problems adolescents living with HIV in our region are faced with?
Discrimination – because of lack of information.
Stigmatization – many HIV+ adolescents consider themselves guilty to have status. Parents and doctors do not talk to them; they do not recognize importance of ART and quit taking medicines, which could lead to death.
Barriers related to testing – unfortunately, not all adolescents have access to quality and timely testing.
Lack of information on reproductive and sexual health.
As I live in Ukraine, our youth movement - Teenergizer was also born in this country.
There are both HIV-positive and negative adolescents in our team.
The content of our web-site is completely created by adolescents. Also there is an option of online-counseling for adolescents, delivered by psychologists and/or peer-consultants at our web-site. Thus, adolescents from all over EECA region could reach peers or professional psychologists when needed
Our team conducts trainings in schools, where explain importance of testing, ways of HIV transmission, tolerant attitude towards people living with HIV etc.
We are also working to advocate adolescents’ involvement into regional and national programs on HIV/AIDS, and raising of issues important for adolescents with key decision makers of our countries.
Among this, our team is implementing “the Quest” project. Within this project adolescents are checking different establishments which offer HIV-testing services - if they are really friendly to teenager and if their work is corresponding to national legislation.
— Teenergizer achievements in the region of EECA.
After trainings and meetings delivered by Teenergizer team within the region, local adolescents become more active, they start taking part on social life of own city or even country, even at the governmental level.
— Teenergizer plans.
1) To attract adolescents from different EECA countries to “the Quest” project, in order to ensure more people are getting tested on HIV.
2) To conduct joint training and educational events in order to promote new young leaders, who would be able to represent adolescents interest in own countries.
3) To ensure integration of HIV+ adolescents into society.
I do believe that young leaders could change the world. And it is very important to create opportunities for young people to make such changes happen. I call upon leaders of EECA region - please support initiatives of adolescents and youth in your country, support young leaders involvement into decision-making bodies, support our desire to make a difference. And all together we will overcome HIV epidemic and will create world free of discrimination, related to HIV-status or any other issue.