Call for participants: ‘Nothing For Us Without Us’ – Unleashing youth leadership to address the challenge of HIV and LGBTQI rights in Europe.
Consultation organized jointly by UNAIDS, ILGA Europe and IGLYO, Geneva, 15-16 July 2014
In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, activists from the gay movement in Europe, North America and Australia responded to its severe and disproportionate impact on gay communities and the accompanying homophobic attacks through an extraordinary community mobilization. The extraordinary mobilization of gay communities in response to the AIDS epidemic also laid the foundation for the new generation of LGBTQI activists, which, in spite of some severe setbacks, in recent years are celebrating remarkable breakthroughs in the political and public recognition of human rights for LGBTQI people globally and especially in Europe.
HIV has, however, in the past decade disappeared as a priority of the contemporary LGBTQI rights movement and is no longer seen as a unifying cause for most leaders of the movement. In addition, across Europe the dual and intertwined crisis of HIV and human rights affecting gay and bisexual men as well as transgender people persists. The European Men Who Have Sex With Men Internet Survey (EMIS) reports that an average of 8% of gay and bisexual men today are living with HIV, with up to 1 in 4 living with HIV in the age group 45-49 years in the western parts of Europe. Studies among transgender women in Europe indicate a very high prevalence of HIV – 24.5% in Italy, 18.8% in the Netherlands and 18.4% in Spain.
Young gay men are particularly affected by a new wave of HIV infections, which have occurred in many European countries the last decade. The new wave is also affecting other gay men previously at lower risk, who are living in rural areas and smaller cities. The LGBTQI rights movement has a significant potential to leverage its momentum and regain its role as a strong political voice and force for the HIV response, anchored in a broader agenda for health, equality and inclusion.
Aim, objectives and format of the consultation
- To empower young LGBTQI activists to become champions of HIV and human rights in their communities and organisations.
- To establish a shared understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS among LGBTQI people.
- To examine the relationships between the LGBTQI activism and HIV/AIDS activism.
- To establish proposed actions and next steps.
- Participant profile
The consultation will bring together 20 young LGBTQI rights activists from European countries. The participants should be selected in accordance with the following criteria:
- 18 – 30 years old.
- Actively engaged within your local LGBTQI organization or community.
- Involvement with a LGBTQI group – on either a local or national basis.
- Commitment to follow up activities.
- Young LGBTQI people living with HIV are encouraged to apply.
- Experience in HIV/AIDS related issues is not a requirement.
- Open to the European Region (excluding Central Asia).
- Ability to communicate and work in English; no interpretation will be provided.
Organization, venue and time
The consultation will be organized jointly by UNAIDS, ILGA and IGLYO and hosted by UNAIDS in Geneva, 15-16 July 2014. All costs related to the consultation will be covered, including transportation (booked by UNAIDS), accommodation, and meals.