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Let's Talk HIV Prevention - Raising Awareness of the Exceptional Progress in HIV Prevention Research: A Worldwide Series of Community Events

This event is part of the 2011 Let’s Talk HIV Prevention series sponsored by the Enterprise. For more information about these events, click here.

City, Country:  Nairobi, Kenya

 Organization Hosting Event:  I Choose Life- Africa (ICL) in partnership with Youth Peer education Network (Y-PEER network) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

Date/Time:  Tuesday, 17 May 2011 / 09:00 – 12:00

 Location (facility name and address):  Ufungamano House, Nairobi City, Kenya

Event Report (submitted by the hosting organization):

On Tuesday 17th May 2011, youth from around Nairobi came together to celebrate World AIDS Vaccine day as well as to talk about HIV prevention. The event was organized with funding from the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise as well as International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) through I Choose Life- Africa (ICL) and Youth Peer Education Network (Y-peer). ICL approached IAVI for extra funding for the event which they gladly accepted and agreed to help in making the event a success. Through the extra funding we were able to get T-shirts, IEC materials, photographer and refreshments for all the participants.
The day started with organizers and exhibitors arriving at 7:00am to set up for the event.  Seven organizations including; Hope Worldwide Kenya; Liverpool VCT;  NPI-SHAP, Slumcode, I Choose Life- Africa , Y-Peer and IAVI, exhibited their work on HIV Prevention. The exhibitions were judged by different adult allies (friends of the youth) who came to support the day. They came from organizations such as Family Health International (FHI), Community Health Solutions (CHS), Kenyatta University, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the Nation Media Group.

Presentations were done by different presenters including Prof Ruth Wanjau (Aids Control Unit Director, Kenyatta University) who highlighted the role of universities in HIV Prevention. Some of her words were, “The AIDS Control Units (ACUs) have really helped in creating awareness on HIV and AIDs and thus ensuring students are protecting themselves from HIV infections. At the same time the ACUs have created a support mechanism for students who are already infected with HIV and thus reducing the stigma in institutions of higher learning.” The different organizations present also gave a small presentation on their HIV Prevention work. They talked about; reaching most at risk populations; integration programs and use of innovative interventions such as toll free calls and SMS and the social network to reach the youth with HIV messages.

Prof Omu Anzala, Director of Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) gave a talk on new prevention measures to eradicate HIV. These included the Vaccine; Microbicides and Prep. The Professor acknowledged the behavior change work already on going, “As of now, behavior change is the only way to prevent oneself from contracting the HIV virus and we applaud the work already being done, but as we all know, changing behaviors of people is not an easy thing.” But he also emphasized the importance of having an HIV Vaccine. “A vaccine will hence provide an alternative prevention intervention to deal with the virus”

The organizing team (I Choose Life- Africa, Y-Peer, IAVI), was very pleased with the turnout, where over 200 people attended. IEC materials were helpful in distributing information on the new prevention including the Vaccine and Microbicides facts.  (See attached).   Audience participation during the question time showed eagerness in wanting to learn more about the new prevention measures.

The audience also applauded the use of exhibitions on showing prevention measures by different organizations, the exhibitors were judged according to innovativeness; youth friendly, upcoming group and the best exhibitor. The winners for most innovative category, youth friendly exhibitor and best exhibitor, were given an award each.  The best upcoming youth organization was given a year supply of publications from IAVI since they have a resource centre in one of the low income communities in Nairobi.    Several requests have already been received by the organizing team to hold several such events in different parts of the country and also to make the event an annual event  so as to create more awareness on the Vaccine development and other prevention interventions.

 

 

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