Reel - UK
A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE FOR WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY 2013
For World Development Information Day 2013, AVERT interviewed a selection of young people from around the globe, getting them to reflect on the HIV/AIDS development challenges in their country.
As supporters of AVERT’s Get Plugged In campaign, our interviewees are part of a network of well-informed young people, aged 18-25, that explore HIV and AIDS issues in our private Get Plugged In forum.
The UN theme for World Development Information Day, celebrated annually on October 24th, concentrates on: “Improving the dissemination of information and the mobilisation of public opinion, particularly among young people…”
Applying this theme to HIV and AIDS, we asked our Get Plugged In members how technology improves access to HIV/AIDS information and awareness of HIV/AIDS development challenges.
See all interviews below.
Reel interned at AVERT, as a Research and Information Assistant. Her role was to help the organisation in its mission to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS worldwide, by providing facts and information to people in need through the AVERT website. She achieved this by researching and communicating breakthroughs in HIV, AIDS and STI prevention, treatment and care; supporting the Information team in the production of news and social media content.
AVERT are currently working on a campaign called Get Plugged In, which focuses on empowering young people to lead the way in the fight against HIV, through the medium of technology. Through the campaign they have already engaged youth in an infographic competition, which challenged young people to think creatively and critically about how they think an HIV prevention message should be delivered to their peers. Through the Get Plugged In forum, which I am apart of, we’ve discussed key developments and shared cool videos with one another- enhancing our understanding of what HIV and AIDS issues are most important in everyone’s country. We have also contributed to the design and development of a new AVERT infographic, ‘How to use a female condom’. AVERT also work with young people through their partner projects in Malawi and South Africa, which support among other things, peer education programmes and information dissemination among the greater community.
Probably the perception that HIV is not such a problem in the UK. I think when young people think about what the consequences could be of having unprotected sex, they think more about pregnancy and other STIs, such as Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia. I think this stems from what we are taught in school. I remember talking about various STIs during both my secondary and college schooling (we even had days when we could be tested for Chlamydia), but I never remember talking about HIV. So naturally, young people are going to think there is not a risk of getting HIV. However, I do think there is more awareness in the gay community because of mass campaigns targeting gay men by organisations like the Terrence Higgins Trust.
I think campaigning using technology can be a great way to raise awareness, especially in the UK where the majority of people have access to the internet and are on at least one social networking site. I think text messaging, chat forums and TV adverts might be better platforms for spreading such information than social media sites, as it allows young people to be more anonymous.
Assuming the project had been given loads of money, it would probably involve going to schools around the country and giving talks about HIV prevention to young people. Also, producing a high quality, funny video, possibly with, or endorsed by celebrities, that are popular with young people to be shown on TV and uploaded onto various social media sites.
This piece forms part of a collection of inspiring and insightful interviews. 'Reflections on the Epidemic' , a series of interviews from young people for World Development Information Day 2013, tap into the opinions and perspectives of young people on HIV and AIDS from four regions across the globe.
All opinions expressed in 'Reflections on the Epidemic' do not necessarily represent those of AVERT.