Feature story

International Youth Day 2022: creating a world for all ages

12 August 2022


What does International Youth Day mean to you? International Youth Day means highlighting youth voices and a call to action of our voices so that our point of view is integrated across programs and policies. In addition, there should be an emphasis on investing in youth-led organizations and supporting youth activism.

What does a world for all ages look like in the context of the HIV response? Young people should have a say or agency regarding decisions that affect their bodies and life. In the Asia Pacific region where I come from, there are many punitive laws and criminalizations. This fuels stigma and discrimination among young key populations and in my mind increases barriers to much needed HIV services.

We must ensure an intersectional, intergenerational and human rights-based approach to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of young people in all our diversities across the region. We fully recognize the principles of “Do No Harm” and “Leave No One behind.'' I cannot insist enough on consulting all communities in the region.


What does International Youth Day mean to you? International Youth Day is a global celebration of young people’s contributions, innovations, and leadership. It is a day of celebration and reflection on how stakeholders can better sustain and strengthen youth movement-building.

What kind of activism are you doing? The PACT, a global coalition of over 150 youth-led and youth-serving organsaitions, has recently concluded another cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, where we have been supporting youth-led organizations to analyze and address current gaps in HIV response not only with young key populations, but across all generations. The UPR is a key mechanism for highlight human rights violations happening at the country level in the multilateral space, and through our partnership with Sexual Rights Initiative we have been harnessing intergenerational learning to ensure young people have their voices heard in this space too.

What does a world for all ages look like in the context of the HIV response?  A world for all ages in the context of the HIV response is the understanding and promotion of intergenerational solidarity and partnerships to guide future community-based activism.


What does International Youth Day mean to you? International Youth Day is the day when young people are the ‘cherry on the cake’ and we hear a lot of noise about young people globally. It is the day when all partners recognize youth and their contributions to the world. It is our day of visibility. Our day to sensitize the world on the issues affecting us and our day to showcase the work we have done as youth.

What activism are you doing at Y+ Global?  As a global network of young people, we are tasked with advocating against issues that adolescents and young people living with HIV face including various groups. We design, plan and execute campaigns that raise awareness of the issues faced by young people and hold global leaders and health institutions accountable. We partner with country networks of young people living with HIV and support them in developing their advocacy strategies while also sourcing for small grants to support  capacity-strengthening efforts. We embrace unique adult youth partnership models by advocating for slots for young people in key decision-making spaces such as the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCMs) and the delegations to the Global Health Institutions.

What does a world for all ages mean to you? A world for all ages is a world where young people are not only treated as beneficiaries but as key stakeholders. A world where we have access to equal opportunities to contribute to the HIV response in a fully funded space that is full of trust and investment in youth leadership. It is a world where youth are leading the response in tackling youth issues.


What does International Youth Day mean to you? International Youth Day is a celebration of the joint efforts made by organized youth in civil society at the international level to improve the world we live in. This day is a recognition of our power to transform our society and also to leverage our needs into realities 

What kind of activism are you doing?  The Argentine Network of Positive Youth and Adolescents (RAJAP) is an organization of young people living with HIV throughout Argentina. Since its founding in 2009, it has built a nationwide platform that reaches more than a thousand members ages 14 to 30. Its main mission is to create a safe space for all adolescents and young people living with HIV+. We support, train and teach people about their rights as well as do advocacy around HIV.

This year’s theme is ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages’, what does that mean to you? Although our work and efforts focus on young people and adolescents, intergenerational dialogue seems fundamental to us so that our present objectives are informed by the experiences of young people. As you know there are cross-cutting problems such as stigma and discrimination so intergenerational dialogue is very important not only to carry over past knowledge but for the sustainability of our organization in the medium and long term.

What is your hope regarding the future? I wish for a world in which older adults are not perceived as a social risk and where public policies are clearly oriented towards their care and meeting their needs, if not most of the time informal care networks is usually taken care of by women. Basically, I would like a world in which older adults are not made invisible and they are not perceived as asexual. Ultimately, it would be a world where there is no age bias in which we can join forces and work together for a better world.

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