The global response to HIV largely neglects young key populations. In many cases, they are made vulnerable by policies and laws that demean, criminalise or penalise them or their behaviours and by education and health systems that ignore or reject them and fail to provide the information and treatment they need to keep themselves safe. Although global coverage of harm reduction services has slowly increased, there is a lack of services focused on and accessible to young people.
At the conference, Y+ Global gained valuable insights from leading experts and heard from global partners on developing effective harm reduction strategies, advocating for policy changes, and addressing discrimination against people who use drugs. An essential aspect of our approach involves actively listening to the experiences of young key populations, which helps us better understand their unique needs and challenges.
Tung Doan, Programmes Manager at Y+ Global, presented at various sessions, including ‘Meet the experts: Stigma Reduction’ session organised by Gilead and ‘Integrating Community-led Harm Reduction Services and Sexualized Drug Use for LGBTQI community in the Asia Pacific region: Strategies for Implementation" session organised by APCOM and UNODC. At the pre-conference, Y+ Global was able to participate and showcase its work in harm reduction and advocacy around young people who use drugs by contributing to important discussions on building solidarity and integrating chemsex/high-fun into broader HIV and health services.
Youth advocates could participate in various conference side meetings, dialogues, and workshops. Youth LEAD and Youth RISE also made an appearance and shared updates and developments of their programs. Y+ Global has been working closely with consortium partners and country networks to build their capacities, amplify their voices, and advocate for better access to essential services such as harm reduction and psychosocial support. Most of the collaborative activities are carried out with current consortium partners such as 4Youth. Y+ Global is committed to supporting new initiatives and interventions, providing practical evidence, advocating for zero stigma and discrimination, challenging punitive and discriminatory laws and policies, and increasing young people's access to HIV and harm reduction services."Attending the International Harm Reduction Conference was an amazing opportunity for Y+ Global to network, learn about best practices, and advocate for the rights of young people who use drugs. We were thrilled to share our experiences and connect with other advocates from around the world,"
Tung DoanProgrammes Manager at Y+ Global