Recap of the International AIDS Conference

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ATHENA is pleased to report a very full and successful week spent at the International AIDS Conference in Durban from 17-22 July! You can see photos of some of our activities on Facebook, or read the daily newsletters we created:

Monday 7/18 Daily Download

Tuesday 7/19 Daily Download

Wednesday 7/20 Daily Download

Thursday 7/21 Daily Download

Friday 7/22 Daily Download

As part of our mandate under the Link Up project, ATHENA supported many youth advocates throughout the week as they spoke on panels and facilitated workshops on meaningful youth engagement, youth-driven advocacy, and innovative tools they designed themselves to support advocacy, research, peer education, HIV/SRHR service delivery, and program development. In addition to the newest SRHR issue briefs on PrEP, HIV self-testing, and adolescent access to HIV treatment and care that ATHENA and the Global Youth Coalition on HIV and AIDS (GYCA) released just prior to the conference, Link Up also launched Aiming High: Meaningful Youth Engagement, a film featuring youth advocates from each Link Up country (Uganda, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Burundi and Ethiopia) discussing their experience with the 3-year project. Together with the Aiming High 10 Strategies for Meaningful Youth Engagement, these form a comprehensive package of tools to facilitate and support the meaningful involvement and engagement of adolescents and young people.

The #WhatWomenWant campaign brought amazing energy to the Women’s Networking Zone and other spaces throughout AIDS2016, and provided the opportunity for young woman champions leading the movement to network and meet other advocates, and to bring their own solutions to the table.

It was an exciting week of news for ATHENA, as we learned that we were provisionally awarded a grant under the DREAMS Innovation Challenge Fund to implement the LEARN project: Young Women Lead, Evidence, Advocate, Research, Network (LEARN): What does PrEP mean for young women? We are very excited to begin this work, and would like to congratulate the well-deserving other grantees who will also be supported by the DREAMS initiative.

In partnership with AVAC and Salamander Trust, we also released a 4-page summary report of the findings, methodology and key recommendations that have emerged from the global review of women’s access to HIV and AIDS treatment, done with support from UN Women. Read more about the global review here.

Thank you to the many friends, partners, stakeholders and allies who joined us physically and virtually at AIDS2016. We would like to thank all of the amazing young women who particpated in Athena's Young Women's Leadership Initiative, which met daily to provide wrap-around support and analysis of sessions and themes throughout the week.

Athena and partners would also like to extend a warm round of appreciation to the outstanding women who participated in the Women's Networking Zone! Thanks to each of you, we had an wonderful week of dialogues, panels, interactive sessions, movie screenings & so much more. We would LOVE to hear from you to learn about your experience in the Zone and how we can continue to improve. If you are able to give feedback, please send your thoughts to Jacqui at stevenson.jacqui@gmail.com.