Feature story

Young people to campaign against stigma and discrimination in Egypt

27 February 2019

Ahead of Zero Discrimination Day, young people came together in Cairo, Egypt, to learn how to respond to HIV-related stigma and discrimination and to hear about how the HIV epidemic affects Egypt and the role that young people can play in the AIDS response.

“The burden of the epidemic is higher on young people. In Egypt, it is for young people to lead the HIV response,” said Walid Kamal, Egypt’s National AIDS Programme Manager.

During a discussion on stigma and discrimination, people living with HIV shared some of their testimonies and experiences, helping to give the participants a deeper understanding of how stigma and discrimination affects people living with HIV.

“It is our responsibility to help people living with HIV feel part of the community,” said one of the participating young people.

“It is not only about AIDS, it is about social justice, equality, the empowerment of women and promoting healthy gender norms,” said Ahmed Khamis, the UNAIDS Country Manager for Egypt.

The participants also learned how to plan, design and implement online awareness and advocacy campaigns on social media.

At the end of the meeting, organized by UNAIDS and the National AIDS Programme and held on 21 February, the young people agreed to lead social media campaigns to highlight the harm caused by stigma and discrimination. Starting on 1 March, Zero Discrimination Day, and running for three weeks, the campaigns will be supported by the UNAIDS country office in Egypt and are endorsed by Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population.