The Global Network of Young People Living with HIV, Y+ Global, is pleased to announce the launch of the Social Aid Fund, in partnership with UNAIDS.
The fund will be implemented by African Network of Adolescents and Young Persons Development (ANAYD) - Nigeria and National Association of Young People Living with HIV in Malawi (Y+ Malawi) focusing intensely on the urgent needs of those affected by economic, social and health crises as a result of COVID-19. The fund will support access to sexual reproductive health (SRH)services for adolescent girls and young women; essential medicines, including ARVs; education resources; internet access/mobile data; blankets and clothing; toys for children; transport support; and any special requirements of the beneficiaries.
There is dire need to support the nutrition, sanitation, access to medical supplies and SRH needs of young people living with HIV. The fund comes at a time when communities have been hard-pressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and young people living with HIV lack the basics for survival. For adolescent girls and young women, their needs stretch from menstrual hygiene to security needs including safety from gender-based violence and harassment while in isolation. Impacts of COVID-related restrictions have also been felt keenly within key populations, with sex workers sometimes excluded from financial support measures despite loss of income. COVID-related restrictions are also impacting the initiation of newly-diagnosed people living with HIV on ARVs in 27 out of 28 countries surveyed for the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2020.
For many years, Y+ Global has embarked on projects that improves the quality of life of young people
living with HIV globally. We have worked with the most pressing needs in hardly reached environments
with effective projects that have given tangible results and changed how communities, funders and
stakeholders engage and involve young people in their day to day work for the better.
Since March 2020, Y+ Global has been taking several strides towards monitoring the implications of COVID-19 on the lives of young people in their diversity and from different sides of the world. Early UNAIDS modelling showed that a six-month COVID-19 related disruption to HIV treatment services could lead to up to 500,000 excess AIDS-related deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. UNAIDS has called for increasing community-led responses within key populations and people living with HIV. This project answers this call to action.
We are delighted to be partnering with UNAIDS in responding to the needs of young people living with HIV.