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Report Of The International Workshop On Hiv And Adolecence 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

The International Workshop on HIV and Adolescence 2022 was held in Cape Town, South Africa, on October 5th - 6th.

This one-of-a-kind workshop is designed as an inclusive summit for multidisciplinary experts working with and for adolescents affected with HIV.

The workshop brought together many multidisciplinary experts working with adolescents living with and affected by HIV to share their experiences, knowledge, and best practices in order to define a path forward for providing more comprehensive health services and improving the general health and well-being of adolescents at risk of HIV and those living with HIV worldwide.

The workshop covered a variety of important topics that will not only aid in the fight against HIV, but will also aid in the support of adolescents living with HIV.

Day 1
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support SessionDorothy Dow's presentation on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support demonstrated the importance of raising mental health awareness among people living with HIV.

“When you have good mental health, it is easier to live positively, especially for adolescents living with HIV.” - Alida Irambona

She identified organisations that have integrated mental health into HIV programing and are producing positive results for adolescents and young people living with HIV. The key takeaway from this session was, organisations should integrate mental health in HIV programing not leave behind mental health because it is essential.

Cardiometabolic health in Adolescents: Implications and Interventions
On the subject of Adolescent Cardiometabolic Health: Implications and Interventions, despite viral suppression in adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) on ART, subclinical heart and metabolic disease is common.

In Burundi, for example, the change of an adolescent's body is visible when they begin receiving ART. Burundi has a long way to go because its cases are not followed to the extent that we have accepted this as normal.

I learnt that It is possible to manage excess weight in ALHIV patients through lifestyle changes and surgery in some cases.

Monetary transfer
The final intervention was on monetary transfer, as a means of HIV prevention among adolescents. Itwas a very interesting session with the presenters emphasizing on its importance in prevention and convenience. There was a vote and it turned out that more people disagreed of the money Transfer idea.

In the sessions that marked the first day showed us that even though HIV contamination persists, there is still an improvement and this thanks to scientific advances.
Day 2
The second day was devoted to gathering additional information that could benefit our respective organizations.

In our country, we are dealing with adolescents and young people who are discouraged from ART and want a curative treatment, or the reduction of tablets to take to arrive at a tablet by 3 or 6 months.

The workshop taught me that there is an injection that can be given instead of oral tablets that people take on a daily basis,, but the only challenget is that it is difficult to administer and more training for nursing providers is required.

For those who have choosen to migrate to the injection, it is easier for them to to forget the doctors appointment for the next dose of injection, and they end up going back on taking the oral tablets saying that this is what is more convenient.

What was still interesting on day 2 were the parallel skill-building sessions, one of which I attended and discussed social media and the voice of a young people. It is obvious that nowadays, social networks are a very effective way to carry the voice further and reach more people in a short period of time.

“We can use social media to advocate for young people.” - Alida Irambona

Adolescents and young people were clearly involved in the planning and execution of this workshop.

As a recommendation, it would be necessary that the next time, we show the interest in the poster abstract, because the participants in the workshop did not have time because there were parallel activities.

By Alida Irambona (RNJ+)