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Feedback From The HIV Adolescence Conference 2022

HIV and Adolecence Workshop 2022
Flip The Narrative - Transforming SRHR and HIV Services to Empower Adolescents in all their Diversity (SDG 5 & 10)- Panel Discussion

Having been part of the online session where we discussed how to improve and transform SRHR and HIV services to empower adolescents in all their diversity. This was crucial in the sense that most oftentimes, programming around SRHR tends to ignore the needs of other communities such as the key populations i.e., LGBTIQ persons, and as such, no support or tailor-made services are given to these communities; which has left many of such community members to shun away or not want to access SRHR services as they do not see the need.

The language used within health facilities was also discussed as a deterrent to the key population’s communities with specific interest to the LGBTIQ community as they are misrepresented in terms of the use of pronouns and the use of a language that is welcoming and further doesn’t discriminate such communities; in order to improve uptake of SRHR and HIV related services.

The outcome of the Panel session.
Promises were made regarding the improvement of the language, especially in service delivery within healthcare facilities. Health care personnel to be made aware of being more mindful of the key populations in order to help make the space much safer and more respectful for the individuals who visit when seeking health services. This is because individuals would wish to be addressed differently based on their identity and this can be helpful in increasing the uptake of the services.

Learning more about the key population groups (through research); as data within this community keeps on shifting, hence, constantly understanding the clients that the health workers support is key. Knowing about communities first is really important since it creates rapport not only for the health service providers but also for the policymakers to understand the needs of these key populations. This will assist them to enact policies that favor and support SRHR uptake as well as those that don’t criminalize people for who they are.