AIDS 2008 Post-Conference Report

Youth Programme

3-8 August 2008 • Mexico City

XVII International AIDS Conference

AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report

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Copyright © September 2008

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report Acknowledgements
The Conference organizers gratefully acknowledge the generous support provided by the following partners, supporters and funders of the AIDS 2008 Youth Programme and Mexico YouthForce: AIDS 2008 Youth Programme Working Group Co-Chairs: Elisabet Fadul (LPC) and Aleza Summit Members: Muwoli Mvula (CPC), Ida Susser (SPC), Rodrigo Olin, Elba García, Amirreza Moradi, Bisi Alimi, Anna Koshikova and Daniel Townsend. AIDS 2008 Youth Programme Staff Ricardo Baruch – Youth Programme Coordinator Lisa Sánchez – Youth Programme Assistant and Youth Pavilion onsite Coordinator Gabriela Gabriel – Youth Reception Officer and Youth Pavilion Coordination Assistance Yahir Zavaleta – Youth Pre-conference Officer and Youth Pavilion Stage Manager Youth Programme and Mexico YouthForce Volunteers All youth and youth supporters who participated in AIDS 2006 planning consultations.

Mexico YouthForce for joint activities and collaboration with the AIDS 2008 Youth Programme in planning the AIDS 2008 Youth Programme activities. The Mexico YouthForce was a wideranging coalition of non-governmental and international organizations, leaded by Advocates for Youth, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Ave de México, Youth Coalition and TakingitGlobal; and the support of World AIDS Campaign, Dance4Life, UNFPA, Youth R.I.S.E. and Hope’s Voice International.

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Other AIDS 2008 Staff For their support to the development of the AIDS Programme Activities and strong commitment: Andrea Nannipieri (Programme Activities Manager), Eugenia López (Global Village Coordinator), Elvira Báez (Cultural Programme Coordinator), Aram Barra (Global Village Assistant), Claudia Romero (Cultural Programme Assistant), Talina González (NGO Booth Coordinator), Yolanda Rinconeño (Networking Zones Coordinator), Minerva Valenzuela (Sessions Coordinator). We are grateful to the Volunteers who assisted at the AIDS 2008 Youth Programme including local Mexico City residents, people visiting Mexico, and individuals who traveled from other Mexican cities to volunteer with the XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC). International Community Programme Committee (CPC), Leadership Programme Committee (LPC), and Scientific Programme Committee (SPC) Pre-conference Sub-committee Aleza Summit and Rodrigo Olín (Sub-committee Co-chairs) Sarah Stumbar, Irania Ledezma, Karolien Dekkers, Samantha Mino, Daniel Benitez, Mimi Melles, Víctor Reñazo and Sara Hendrix. Youth Website and Media Task Force Kirsten Jordan (Media sub-committee Co-chair) Jo Anne Tacorda, Andrew Francis, Caitlin Chandler, Ekua Yankah, Julian Carvajal, Laura Kenyon, Marco Gomes, Samuel Kissi. Web-site TakingITGlobal (Toronto, Canada); the Information Technology Department of the International AIDS Conference Secretariat (Geneva, Switzerland). Youth Rapporteur Team Annelies Mesman (CHOICE), Chief Youth Rapporteur and Youth Rapporteurs Mara Broadman and Marco Gomes. Youth Reception Sub-committee Susan van Esch (Co-Chair), Claudia Ahumada (Co-Chair), Tamara Dawit, Marco Gomes, Julian Carvajal, Magaly Holtz and Ana Martínez (VIH no es una banda de Rock). Speakers: Steve Kraus (Chief of the HIV Branch, UNFPA), Dr. Peter Piot, (UNAIDS Executive Director), Thembi Mgvane (Youth representative, South Africa) Julieta Venegas (singer/songwriter) and Celso Piña (singer/songwriter). Youth Pavilion Sub-committee Caitlin Padgett (Co-chair), Haben Fecadu (Co-chair), Kyla Zanardi, Nick Carkner, Cristabel Opudo, Christina Ezekiel, Corina Martínez, José Antonio Ruiz Hernández, Todd Murray, Ahmed Malah, Andrea García Buitrago y Diego Cal. Advocacy Sub-committee Joya Banerjee (Advocacy Sub-committee Co-chair), Kathy Wollner (Advocacy Sub-committee Co-chair), Yoli Sánchez Neyoy, Naomi Sorkin, Vladimir Jáquez, Qaisar Ismail, Manuella Donato, Mian Liping, Giovanny Romero Infante, Esther Eshiet, Edith Cabrera, Betiana Caceres, Anna Koshikova, Caitlin Padgett.

Main Conference Sub-committee AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Claudia Ahumada (Co-chair), Elisabet Fadul (Co-chair), Katie Chau, Heather McMullen, Mara Brotman, Wang Xinlei, Denise Jaworsky, Tais Loureiro, Rayonne Pile, José Guillén. Youth Leadership Forum Host: Nina Martínez, Hope’s Voice International, United States. Speakers: Elizabeth Mataka (UN Special Envoy from Africa), Bill Roedy (MTV International, United Kingdom), Purnima Mane (UNFPA), Igor Mocorro (Youth Positives, Philippines), Prateek Suman (World AIDS Campaign, India) and Irania Ledezma (MexicoYouthForce). To Plan International Panama office, José Guillén (Sociedad Wills Wilde, Venezuela), Elisabet Fadul (Youth Partners, Dominican Republic) and Claudia Ahumada (Youth Coalition, Chili) for making possible the collaborative project: “Youth Pocketbook Guide to Navigating International AIDS Conferences”.

The Youth Programme was made possible due to the commitment and creativity of all the participants, volunteers, staff members, participating venues, and the sponsors and suppliers that turned the vision into reality.

The AIDS 2008 Youth Programme was a programme activity under the responsibility of the AIDS 2008 Global Village Team, XVII International AIDS Conference Dr. Luis Soto, Co-Chair Dr Pedro Cahn, Co-Chair

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The work of the AIDS 2008 Youth Programme and Mexico YouthForce was generously supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Plan International, The Summit Foundation, UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Association), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):

Special Thanks to:

We thank the AIDS 2008 International and Mexican Scholarship Programmes of the Conference and their funders; and to the many organizations who sponsored individual Youth to participate at the Youth Pre-Conference and at AIDS 2008.

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The Conference organizers gratefully acknowledge the generous support provided by the following sponsors

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report Content

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
1. Overview – Youth Programme…………………………. 10

2. Background……………………………………………......... Goals and Objectives…………………………………………. 10 12 2.1 Specific Objectives…….………………………………………… 12

3. 4. 2.2


Guiding principles………………………………………...........

Youth Programme Concept Development……… Defining youth………………………………………………………… Governance and Decision-Making…………………….. 13 13 14 4.1 5. AIDS 2008 Youth Working Group………..…………………. 16 Main Conference Groups……………….……..…………… 16 12

6. 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Introduction and Objectives………………………………….. Revision of youth pocketbook …………………………… Roadmap……………………………………………………………… Youth Orientation Initiative……………………………….. Youth Leadership Forum ……………………………………… Youth Rapporteur Team ………………………………………. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat Advocacy Efforts………………………….…………………….. 16 17 17


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report


Overview - Youth Programme

More than half of all new HIV infections worldwide are among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Every day, 6,000 young people become infected with HIV, which is more than five every minute. Young women and men are most vulnerable to HIV infection because of lack of information, education, and services necessary to protect themselves from infection. The vast majority of young people living with HIV lacks access to affordable treatment and care. Due to the afore mentioned situation, the XV International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Bangkok in 2004 introduced for the first time a youth specific component in the Conference programme even though the XIV AIDS Conference in Barcelona had youth participants and side activities for the first time. In Toronto the youth programme was consolidated and became one of the most visible and important components of the IAC. The AIDS 2008 Youth Programme was envisioned to support the meaningful participation, integration and inclusion of young people throughout all levels of the Conference, including planning and development. The Youth Programme aimed to ensure access and meaningful participation on panels; in skills building workshops, forums, non-abstract sessions, abstract sessions; and as moderators, presenters, and delegates. The Programme also aimed to ensure the visibility of youth throughout the Conference, including the Global Village and the Cultural Activities Programme. Although young people are more than half of people infected each year by HIV, in Bangkok only 450 out of 19,000 conference attendees were youth, and at the IAC in Barcelona 2002 only 200 were under 30 years of age. In Toronto there were more than 1,000 participants under 26, more than double the number in Bangkok. In Mexico an approximate number of 1,500 participants 12-25 years old were registered for the Conference and many more participated in the Global Village. The Youth Programme was housed in the Programme Activities division of the IAS and it was not only a separate component but a comprehensive approach to the different areas and departments of AIDS 2008. For the first time the IAC was held in a Latin American country and therefore a big focus was placed into latin issues of young people and the number of latinamerican delegates was the highest of an International AIDS Conference. The youth activities of AIDS 2008 were developed with the support from the Mexico YouthForce (MYF), a coalition of organizations working on HIV and Youth around the world: the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Advocates for Youth, TakingItGlobal, Ave de Mexico, Youth Coalition, Dance 4 Life, the World AIDS Campaign, Hope’s Voice, Youth R.I.S.E. and UNFPA. Almost all the activities described in this report were planned and managed together with the MYF. The report aims to give a general overview of the planning process, the description of the activities and the lessons learnt from the youth activities
The XVII International AIDS Conference organizers defined youth as 16-25 years old. Throughout this report when referring to ‘youth’ and ‘young people’, the Conference definition is used.


Goals and Objectives

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The youth programme of AIDS 2008 will be a chance to empower young people, advocate for current and critical issues affecting youth worldwide, and further pinpoint current strategies for effective change. In addition, the youth programme is working to focus on HIV-positive youth, through targeted outreach to HIV-positive youth serving organizations. There will be a new component for young scientists participating in the Conference which will help to engage not only activists but youth from many different fields to get involved. The youth programme of AIDS 2008 aimed to empower young people, advocate for current and critical issues affecting youth worldwide, and further pinpoint current strategies for effective change. In addition, the youth programme is working to focus on HIV-positive youth, through targeted outreach to HIV-positive youth serving organizations. There will be a new component for young scientists participating in the Conference which will help to engage not only activists but youth from many different fields to get involved.


Specific Objectives

The objectives of the Youth Programme for AIDS 2008 were: 1. To empower young people from both developing and developed countries to be effective advocates at the conference; 2. To facilitate the collaboration of stakeholders committed to youth HIV/AIDS issues at the conference; 3. To promote youth participation and inclusion of youth issues in the mainstream conference agenda, in press generated from the conference, and in HIV/AIDS programs and policies in general; and 4. To gain and achieve international and individual commitments which promote youth leadership and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on young people.


Guiding Principles

The Youth Programme and the Youth Working Group were guided by the following principles: Leadership has no age limits Young people are assets in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and their voices must be heard. Youth involvement builds self-esteem, confidence and skills that leaders in this movement need to be effective agents of change. When young people are able to identify main issues of primary concern for them and are empowered to develop, implement and manage youth-owned strategies to address those issues; real change will take place. Meaningful Participation The Youth Programme supports the meaningful participation, integration and inclusion of young people throughout all levels of the Conference including planning and development. Through the efforts of a Youth Working Group, the Youth Programme will ensure access and meaningful participation on panels, in skills building workshops, forums, non-abstract sessions, abstract sessions, as moderators and presenters, and ensure the visibility and participation of youth throughout the conference Cultural Programme and Global Village. Meaningful participation creates a mainstreamed, active role for youth to empower themselves in the movement. Young participants effectively utilize knowledge and skills gained at the IAC in their communities after the conference. They contribute to the skills, knowledge, and best practices shared by older participants at the IAC, and that they successfully create youth-adult partnerships. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Greater Involvement of People with AIDS/HIV principle (GIPA) GIPA clearly applies to youth participation at International AIDS Conference.The Youth Advisory Committee will strive to maximize the participation and collaboration opportunities for young people living with HIV/AIDS to be actively involved in the development and delivery of the programme’s goals and objectives. Geneva Principle The Geneva principle states that “community involvement in the planning of an international AIDS conference is as important as that of the scientific community and representatives of both groups should participate on equal footing”. Consultation and Accountability Community members and stakeholders targeted/contacted through Youth Activities will be consulted about their ideas, suggestions, and recommendations for the conference. These consultations will inform the planning and delivery of outreach projects and activities. Community members and stakeholders will be provided with information about process, planning and decision-making organizational structures, conference access points, and opportunities for engagement. Committee members will be informed about how their input was utilized to ensure fairness and transparency in the conference planning and implementation. Evaluation The effectiveness of the Youth Activities and outcomes will be evaluated, reported on, and made available to all stakeholders involved. The Youth Activities program will also strive to be transparent with respect to how young people are involved and how successful the programme has been.


Youth Programme Concept Development

The YouthForce started working on issues related the XVII International AIDS Conference since December 2006 in order to give continuation to the work that was developed in Toronto, Bangkok and Barcelona. In October 2007 Ricardo Baruch was hired as the Youth Programme Coordinator for AIDS 2008 and, in the meanwhile the MYF submitted the Mexico YouthForce Concept Paper to several Conference Coordinating Committee members for their information and support. During the CCC meeting in November 2007 all the members heard for the first time about the plans of the youth programme and welcomed the initiatives from the very beginning. The AIDS 2008 Mexico Youth Programme Concept Paper was adapted from the Mexico Youth Force Concept Paper as a visioning and guidance document for understanding the role of the Youth Activities Programme within the XVII International AIDS Conference. The Concept Paper provided context for how the Youth Programme has been developed, and also explains the objectives and proposed outcomes of the Programme. The Youth Programme Coordinator, Youth Working Group, the Mexico YouthForce and other Conference Committees used the Concept Paper as reference and tool to guide the work of planning and implementing a successful Youth Programme within the Conference. (See annex ?) A Youth Programme Assistant was hired in February 2008 and two other Youth Programme staff were hired in June 2008 to help with the coordination of this important component of AIDS 2008.


Defining youth 14

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat

AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The definitions and uses of the terms ‘youth’, ‘adolescents’ and ‘young people’ vary in different societies around the world, depending on the cultural, economic, political and social context. United Nations agencies and the World Health Organization define persons between the ages of 10 and 19 as adolescents, and the group aged 15 to 24 as youth, with the broader category of young people for those aged 10 to 24. In Mexico youth is defined by the Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud 1 as people from 12 to 29 years old. The same definition applies almost in all the Latin-American countries. The XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto 2006 Community Programme Committee defined ‘youth’ as between the ages of 16 and 26. For AIDS 2008 ‘youth’ changed since the CCC made the decision to lower the range of age for 1 year. Defining ‘youth’ as up to 25, and therefore including older youth is seen as important in order to maintain institutional memory and pass on expertise for continued and sustainable youth leadership. Special consideration will be given to people older than 25 especially those who are young scientists. Lower than 16 years of age may have posed complex issues of liability for the Conference, nevertheless many adolescents younger than 16 were included in the youth programme activities.


Governance and Decision-Making

The IAS, the committees and the Mexico Youth Force worked together to design and implement the Youth Programme for AIDS 2008. A brief description of how they worked together is next:


AIDS 2008 Youth Working Group

In October 2007 CPC members were invited to the submit nominations for the creation of a Youth Working Group which would fulfill the role of the Youth Advisory Committee that existed for AIDS 2006 to direct and support the youth activities. The Youth Coordinator also submitted the nominations of the Mexico Youth Force to the CPC co-chairs who selected 3 representatives of each of the 3 programmes committees (LPC, SPC and CPC) plus 7 other members. Once the 10 members were complete as well as the members of the Global Village and Culture Working Groups, each WG selected a member to have cross-representation in the other working groups. This way the final composition of the YWG was the next: YWG (n=12) 2 Chairs (from both Community and Leadership Programme Committees) 3 x programme committee members (1 each from Leadership, Science and Community Programme Committees, 2 of these are the chairs mentioned above) 2 x local reps from organizations that are working on youth and HIV /AIDS 4 x representativess from relevant international HIV/AIDS organizations. 1 representative from Latin-America and the Caribbean. 1 representative from the Global Village Working Group. 1 representative from the Cultural Working Group.


The governmental youth institution: AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Only 2 of the 12 members were above 29 years old. The representatives of youth in the CPC and the LPC were below 24 years old which means that young people were well represented in almost every governance body of the IAC. The WG was supposed to met on a regular basis and be comprised of youth who are involved and dedicated, have very different backgrounds and areas of expertise as well as experience at an international level. Half of the members of the working group were totally inactive during the 9 months of planning so a different structure was planned in combination with the MYF in order to have a variety of voices and more democratic representation. The Youth Working Group had the support from the Mexico YouthForce. The YWG and the MYF agreed on creating 6 subcommittees that helped to deliver more effectively the activities of the youth programme, 1 for each of the next activities: Pre-conference, Advocacy, Youth Pavilion, Media and Communication, Main Conference and Reception. The subcommittees also represented an excellent opportunity for more youth stakeholders to get involved with the planning process of the Conference.

5. Main Conference Activities

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
In every IAC, the participation of young delegates, speakers and poster presenters has increased but it’s actually quite hard to measure this, nevertheless AIDS 2008 was definitely the Conference with the largest participation of young people in panels and skills building workshops. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the MYF young people were also included in the opening ceremony (Keren Dunaway from Honduras and Moni Pen from Cambodia), one plenary and the closing ceremony (Elisabet Fadul from the Dominican Republic and Rodrigo Olin from Mexico) as well as many Non Abstract Driven Sessions (NADS) and special sessions. Many other activities were planned by the Youth Programme and the YouthForce in order to highlight youth issues in AIDS 2008:

5.1 Introduction and objectives
As part of a comprehensive strategy to foster young meaningful participation of young delegates within the XVII International AIDS Conference, the Mexico YouthForce, through the Main Conference Subcommittee (MCSC), aimed to strengthen the participation of young people and the profile of youth issues at the IAC. The objectives of this subcommittee were to: 1. Strengthen participation of young people by offering conference navigation assistance, mentorship and orientation 2. Strengthen the profile of youth issues by promoting youth-focused sessions to attend, working with youth speakers and programme committees, and observing youth issues throughout the conference.

Main Activities
5.2 Revision of AIDS 2006 youth pocketbook: Navigating AIDS Conferences
The revision, shortening and updating of the Youth Pocketbook Guide was one of the subcommittee’s main undertakings. The Guide was substantially shortened (versus the original AIDS 2006 version) to make it handier for youth participants. The pocketbook also included the Mexico 2008 youth roadmap which is the list of activities focused on youth throughout the week of the Conference. The MYF liaised well with Plan International on this, who supported the design of the revised pocketbook, as well as with UNAC (United Nations Association of Canada), on permission to revise the pocketbook, as they were the main authors of the original AIDS 2006 pocketbook. The youth programme provided the design and printing of the pocketbook. Two versions of the pocketbook were produced: one in English and one in Spanish. The initial version was prepared in English and then translated into Spanish by some MYF members. The Youth Pocketbook Guide was successfully completed and distributed both online and at the conference (at the youth pavilion welcome desk). The pocketbook was successfully shortened by the MYF to focus on handy information for the conference rather than include details about pre-conference preparation as the 2006 handbook did. Recommendations: − The revision of the pocketbook has to be one of the first tasks of the Youth Programme. Having begun immediately with the revision of the pocketbook proved effective as it took AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
various months to have the final revised version. In addition, due to time constraints, delegates were able to access it online only a month before the conference. It is recommended that pocketbooks be available for the youth pre-conference so delegates can review the pocketbook and tips for organizing agenda previous to the conference. For this, co chairs should inform/agree with the youth programme staff (or printers) the desired deadline previously.

5.3 Roadmap
A draft calendar of Mexico YouthForce events was prepared. The Youth Programme staff formulated an initial draft of the youth roadmap, since they had access to all sessions of the main programme, Global Village and Youth Pavilion. The MYF then reviewed this draft, circulated it, and received and compiled feedback (and missing events) to return to youth programme staff so they could send for printing and add into the youth pocketbook. The roadmap included all sessions identified by young people and main MYF partners. It also included main conference and Global Village sessions. Recommendations: − Having the Youth Programme staff formulate the initial draft was very productive and effective as they had access to the conference programme database and schedule. Yet, it is important for the future YouthForce have some idea of what the main youth sessions are and who the presenters are, as various sessions were missing from the initial draft and were afterwards incorporated in the review process. − As the official conference programme is finalized in the late months prior to the conference, the youth roadmap was one of the last tasks and should be done rapidly so the roadmap can be sent to printing. More active feedback on the roadmap format could help in making it friendlier for use at the conference if needed.

5.4 Youth Orientation Initiative (YOI)
The YOI consisted of conference youth delegates learning/receiving tips/orientation on AIDS 2008 from other peers who had attended past International AIDS Conferences (youth guides); specifically on navigating the conference, tips on how to prepare for their presentation, and practical information about visiting Mexico, among others. Online Discussion Boards Coordination was done with the media subcommittee to develop discussion boards on the youth site in English and Spanish on the following topics: − − − − − − Information about Mexico city General AIDS 2008 Information Youth activities at the conference Presenting at the Conference Connect with other YPLHIV Resources for YPLHIV

In-person Orientation sessions Two in-person sessions were programmed, one at the youth pre-conference and one at the youth pavilion during the IAC, with the objective of informing and reflecting with participants on the importance for prioritizing sessions to attend to, defining objectives for the conference and developing their agenda, as well as to provide general information on what the IAC has to offer. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Key Successes and Results: − The MYF prepared a factsheet with presentation tips for youth presenters as part of the YOI. − The YOI in-person session at pre conference proved to be necessary and effective for participants to reflect on the importance of organizing an agenda, developing objectives and reflecting on the importance for them to attend the conference and what they want out of it, as well as to highlight important sessions to attend to. − MYF members moderated the online discussion boards as few applications were received from youth guides. Recommendations: − The Youth Orientation session to be held during the main conference, which subcommittee members put substantial planning time into, was not able to be held given that at the time for which it was scheduled the Secretary General of the United Nations visited the Youth Pavilion, where it was to be held, and it was not possible to reschedule it. In the future we recommend that the youth orientation session be held on the morning immediately after the opening ceremony, to ensure that more people are available to attend and that there are more possibilities of rescheduling if anything additional comes up. − The call for youth guides could have been more disseminated and given more follow up, since few applications were received. In addition, since few applied, the screening process was not as strong as it should have been and more emphasis should be given in the future to reviewing the facilitation capacities of the applicants (in regards to the in-person sessions). − A recommendation would be to call for youth guides within the subcommittee members call out, to also ensure the MCSC comprises in a substantial majority of delegates that had attended previous IACs and of a team predefined for the YOI, which is an ongoing process from beginning of subcommittee work until the conference. In this sense, work on the YOI should be one of the main tasks started with. − In regards to the discussion boards, though a useful tool, it was sometimes challenging to draw people to the site and make it more interactive. The discussion boards should be promoted more by the MCSC and other MYF sub-committees. Statistics on the site demonstrated that many people viewed the posts, but few actually posted questions or comments. This may have been due to the requirement for people to have TIG profiles in order to post on the discussion boards. In the future, the discussion boards should be open for all viewers to post.

5.5 Youth Leadership Forum (YLF)
Another major task of the subcommittee was to plan and prepare the Youth Leadership Forum. Following feedback received from the 2006 subcommittee, the 2008 team worked hard to ensure that the format was more interactive and featured strong youth and adult leaders. Therefore, a panel of youth and adult leaders was invited, with a panel format that was interactive and only included one presentation on the youth pre conference results and Advocacy messages.

Key Successes and Results: − Advocacy messages could have gone more in depth, yet the YLF served as a good stage to bring pre conference conversations and MYF Advocacy messages into the main conference. − The panel was composed of youth and adult leaders seated at the same table with an interactive Q and A format agreed to by all panelists, which allowed for audience to ask questions and panelists to answer. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Recommendations: − The subcommittee spent months planning the Youth Leadership Forum, carefully selecting speakers and formulating the concept of the forum. However, the forum took place at the late evening slot (from 6:30 to 8:30 pm), which meant that there were not many people in the audience. In the future we recommend that it be scheduled at an earlier hour, as most late sessions had less people attend. Also, the save the date announcement to publicize the forum should be disseminated weeks prior to the conference and circulated massively to ensure more participation. − The moderation of the YLF was quite weak which had a negative impact on the speakers’ participation, the audience’s input and overall success of the session. To avoid this, we recommend that if a Youth Leadership Forum is held in 2010, it be moderated by one (or two) subcommittee member/s who has been involved in planning the forum to possess strong facilitation skills, in order to ensure that the aims and expected format of the session is clear.

5.6 Youth Rapporteur Team
A call for chief youth rapporteur was drafted and sent out by the MYF. The selected chief rapporteur would then select two assistants from the pool of applicants. About 15 applications were received. A member of the subcommittee was in charge of receiving and doing the first screening of applications. Afterwards, as a group, a discussion was held to select the three best candidates for the chief rapporteur and assistant positions. Key Successes and Results: − The Chief Youth Rapporteur was very pro-active and put together a strong support team. − Feedback from AIDS 2006 Chief rapporteur was very useful to the Chief Youth Rapporteur as to what to expect and agenda organization. − As only the chief rapporteur was confirmed, several actions were carried out to ensure a support team for the rapporteur, as this is imperative: a) a call was made at the youth pre conference for assistant rapporteurs, b) an MCSC member served as assistant rapporteur, which proved most effective, c) the rapporteur liaised with the media subcommittee and youth journalists so they could also support the youth rapporteuring. Recommendations: − The recruitment process for the Chief Youth Rapporteur and team took place quite late (June 2008), since the subcommittee was asked to delay the call until other calls for rapporteurs of the other programmes were made, so it could be coordinated. In doing so, the subcommittee lost time, which meant that by the time the applications came in and a decision was made, it was too late for applicants who had not already secured visa’s to get one. In the future we recommend that the call for the youth rapporteur and team be made at least four months in advance. − It’s important to take into account the logistical aspects for rapporteur participation, such as some funding support to attend the conference.

6. Advocacy efforts
6.1. Introduction and objectives

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The Youth Programme of the International AIDS Conferences is not only about the young delegates but also about the outcomes that come as a result of the advocacy activities during the Conference such as the activities related to comprehensive sex education, decriminalization of the use of drugs, improvement of the dialogue between governments and civil society among others. Lots of young delegates participated in high level meetings with ministers, ambassadors, parliamentarians, funders and key stakeholders before, during and after the Conference. Even though the results of those meetings and sessions are hard to measure, there is no doubt that the energy and strength of several youth participants were very important to generate dialogue for the improvement of the global response to HIV. The advocacy campaign of the Mexico YouthForce was created in order to highlight and promote HIV and AIDS issues related to young people at the 2008 International AIDS Conference in Mexico City and to empower young delegates to advocate for the needs and meaningful inclusion of young people. This same task force was undertaken successfully at the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto and the experiences and recommendations of the Toronto team were instrumental in these efforts’ continued success. The core objectives of the advocacy campaign were: 1) To design and implement advocacy messages and a campaign strategy designed by young people for the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City; and 2) To prepare young people prior to the conference to participate meaningfully and to advocate effectively to their decision makers. The core activities of the advocacy subcommittee –established on January 2008- were: 1. A campaign to encourage organizations to sponsor young leaders to participate in the conference (“Take Two to Mexico”) 2. An e-consultation to identify key advocacy issues and discuss strategies for the advocacy campaign 3. The creation of advocacy messages and materials based the e-consultation’s findings, informative fact sheets for both youth participants and conference delegates 4. A Youth-Adult Commitments Desk to encourage adult delegates to commit to issues affecting young people and to strengthen youth-adult partnerships and involvement and 5. An advocacy training sessions at the MYF youth preconference to prepare youth delegates for advocacy opportunities at the main conference.

6.2. Activities Description
“Take Two to Mexico” Campaign Following up on the success of the “Take Two to Toronto” campaign implemented by the Toronto YouthForce, which successfully inspired organizations and individuals to sponsor 118 young people from 36 organizations and sponsors to attend AIDS2006, the MYF created a concise letter to increase youth sponsorship for AIDS2008. The letter briefly (in two pages) explained the importance of the conference to young leaders, the benefits of increasing youth participation, the costs and processes to sponsor a young person, and information on how to make contact with a young person in need of sponsorship. The letter was used both by the MYF and by youth participants themselves as a fundraising tool to solicit full and partial scholarships. E-consultation

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
A month-long e-consultation with 125 young people from 46 countries who are active in the global HIV and AIDS response was coordinated to foster a dialogue about the most significant goals, needs, and challenges they see in their work. While the 2006 e-consultation had a greater number of participants, this year’s e-consultation had a greater number of countries represented. There is still progress to be made in the effectiveness of the e-consultation based on the number of people reached and the variety of opinions expressed. The key YouthForce messages were based on the main outcomes of the e-consultation as voiced by the participants and these messages appeared widely throughout the conference on YouthForce t-shirts, posters, postcards, banners as well as on the website, in press conferences, and in speakers’ remarks during sessions and presentations. The images used for the advocacy materials in particular reflected the main themes of the consultation—young people who inject drugs, young men who have sex with men, the right of all young people to access comprehensive HIV information and services, and the collective responsibility to reduce the vulnerability of young people to HIV infection-. In developing and facilitating the e-consultation, the Mexico YouthForce hoped to gain a wide scope of opinions and ideas from young people around the world, with particular attention to ensuring participation of Latin American youth. The MYF recruited participants by disseminating information about the e-consultation through friends, email listservs, YouthForce partners’ websites and other sources. Participants included leaders who are active in their communities delivering HIV and AIDS services, educating their peers, advocating for treatment access, developing innovative campaigns using media, drama, music and art, and more.

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report

The entire e-consultation was conducted in Spanish and English. Participants signed up for the e-consultation, which took place on an e-group designed by TakingITGlobal. The consultation took place over a 4 week period. During the first week, the e-consultation focused on identifying the current needs of youth in the HIV pandemic, the status of youth involvement in the participants’ home countries, and explored what governments could do to prevent the spread of HIV. During the second week, participants delved further into these issues, grouped together themes, and then moved into recommendations for the conference and YouthForce’s advocacy strategy. Finally, the third and fourth week’s discussions focused on possibilities for peaceful initiatives, specific advocacy tools, resources, events and activities, and ways to appeal to decision-makers. The full e-consultation final report is available at:

6.3. Recommendations:
− Make sure that the announcement for the e-consultation is sent six weeks before its launch. This will allow for the announcement to reach more people before the consultation begins, as dissemination through e-networks often takes a significant amount of time. Revise the questions which have been used in previous e-consultations. You will need to draft more specific questions and adjust them based on the responses from the weeks before. Otherwise the e-consultation could turn into a broad, theoretical conversation about youth and HIV, rather than a focused brainstorm on which issues to prioritize during the conference and which strategies are most effective. Strong facilitation is crucial; facilitators must be prepared well in advance in order to avoid a situation in which facilitation falls upon people who may not be able to commit adequate time to responding to members’ posts, fleshing out important ideas and suggestions, and posting weekly summaries and questions in a timely manner. It is crucial to have at least one back-up facilitator per week in case of a last minute drop out. Upon the conclusion of the e-consultation, you should ask the list if they felt that the process had been an effective means to develop advocacy messages and if they felt that their opinions had been heard and taken into account. This could lend even greater credibility to the YouthForce process of message development. When considering which languages to conduct the e-consultation in, it is important to keep in mind that a weekly facilitator will need to compile all the posts into a weekly summary. Translation can delay this process if there is no on-call translator available. It may be more realistic to limit the consultation to only two or three languages (including the final report) in order to most effectively utilize the subcommittee’s limited human resources. For example, it is unclear how many young people benefitted from the translation of the report

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
into other languages besides English and Spanish, given the difficulties of conference participation in general for young people who did not speak either language.

6.4. Advocacy messages and materials
The advocacy subcommittee distilled the discussions from the e-consultation into the following key messages which appeared on the YouthForce advocacy materials displayed in the Global Village. RIGHTS: we have a right to comprehensive, accurate information and services to protect our sexual health. RESPECT: for our realities, our experiences, and our contributions. RESPONSIBILITY: together, we must create an environment where we have power over the decisions that affect our health and lives. RESOURCES: we need training, mentorship, funding, and opportunities. The advocacy materials carrying each of these messages also included the slogan, “Nearly 50% of all new HIV infections are among young people.” Please see the “Key Messages of the Mexico YouthForce” fact sheet in Appendix I for in depth explanation of these messages. Once the key words were decided on, the design process started although the final language of the messages was still pending. Once the messages were finalized, the designers provided mock-ups of possible photos that could be taken to represent different groups decided on within the subcommittee. After many break downs in communication, successful materials came out. The MYF and the AIDS 2008 Youth Programme jointly funded the advocacy materials. The subcommittee produced the following materials in both English and Spanish: − − − − − − − − 8 large banners that hung above the Youth Pavilion area featuring the key messages and 1 banner featuring the title “Our Realities” depicting a young injecting drug users T-shirts featuring the key messages 2’ by 3’ posters featuring the key messages Postcards featuring the key messages and the “Our Realities” headline, with information promoting the Youth-Adult Commitments desk on the back Stickers for individuals making commitments which stated “I commit to youth” A jargon wall which featured definitions of AIDS establishment jargon with matching removable words (foam core cut-outs velcroed on top of the definitions) A banner with the logos of all the donors, supporters, and organizing partners (used during the pre-conference, reception and main conference) A Mexico YouthForce banner in both English and Spanish to be used at MYF events


A decision making process for the creation of the materials should be determined before the design process begins. For this decision making process to be able to be executed, the design of materials needs to happen along a reasonable timeline. The first round of proofs must be provided by the designers no later than April 15 to allow for adequate time to give feedback. The designers must be part of at least two biweekly chats in order to understand that multiple people will be involved in giving feedback in a collaborative process, that the issues and images depicted are contentious and may require several re-shoots and revisions, and to check every proof for typos and errors.

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
− Early proofs also allow for early price quotations from printers, allowing the subcommittee to budget its financial resources effectively. Printers can only give reliable quotations when they have the proofs in hand. If possible, have the designer plan well in advance for a photo-shoot. If the designer can take his/her own photos, s/he can achieve the necessary high resolution (above 1.5MB in most cases) for large banners. The only “real life” photo that was used was provided by the Asian Harm Reduction Network. In relation to the above points, it is necessary to have a clear timeline that both the designers and the advocacy subcommittee adhere to. The designer for the project must have some background or understanding of HIV and AIDS issues, or at the least poverty and gender issues. For many of the reasons discussed above, it would be ideal to recruit a designer outside of the YouthForce coordinating organizations to avoid tensions among partners. The YouthForce must insist on being in direct contact with the printer to execute the printing of the materials. Organizers must be able to review physical proofs before the final print. It is essential to carefully review physical proofs to avoid typos, errors, and misprints. When the subcommittee places its order with the printer, it should ensure that each message is not solely printed on one t-shirt size, but that each message is printed in several different sizes.

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Fact sheets The subcommittee developed five fact sheets to be distributed to youth participants at the preconference and to visitors of the Youth Pavilion. These were written and finalized in English, translated into Spanish, and then revised by three additional Spanish speakers. Each fact sheet was then reviewed against the other for consistency in language and meaning. The five fact sheets were: About the Mexico YouthForce, Key Messages of the MYF, Young People and HIV, Youth Participation, and the Calender of Main Events. These facts sheets are available on the youth website at: Recommendations: − The process for writing and translation was successful but time consuming. It is important to have one person willing to do the final proof of all documents, particularly if they are to be published in two languages. − Far too much time was spent on perfecting the language for the fact sheets translated into Spanish, and as a result the fact sheets were not available online in significant time before the conference. The fact sheets, in particular the overview fact sheet, About the Mexico YouthForce, and the Calendar of Main Events, could have been much more effective had they been disseminated earlier. − There must be enough fact sheets for all pre-conference participants and approximately 2,000 of each to have available in the Youth Pavilion area. An additional 1,000 copies should be made of the About the Mexico YouthForce and Calendar of Main Events fact sheets to be included in the YouthForce Press Kits. Pre-conference advocacy sessions During the preconference, two simultaneous sessions on how to advocate on behalf of the YouthForce were conducted, one in English and one in Spanish. The sessions gave an overview of how the messages were developed and gave participants skills and practice on how to advocate on behalf of the messages to decision makers. It covered how individuals can personalize messages and advocacy strategies for the main conference including “elevator pitches,” forming concise messages and requests, tactics for clear communication and body language, the importance of giving and receiving contact information when interacting with AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
decision makers. It also gave participants an opportunity to brainstorm advocacy strategies with their peers and collaborate for the main conference and future initiatives. Recommendations: − Ensure that the session is interactive and that participants are able to ask questions and share comments during the session. − Bring participants up to speed on the process for message development and create a session that encourages participants to feel a part of the YouthForce.

6.5. Youth-Adult Commitments Desk
The subcommittee decided to replicate the Youth-Adult Commitments Desk which was successful in AIDS 2006 in Toronto. While initially it was understood that the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) would take on the follow up as they did for AIDS 2006, the status of follow up is pending following a transition at GYCA in the Program Director position. In terms of the implementation of the Commitments Desk, it was determined that at least two volunteers would be needed at the desk during each shift, one English speaker and one Spanish speaker. As seven members of the advocacy subcommittee were present at the conference, the co-chairs asked that they sign up for shifts at the desk as a first priority since they were a part of the process of message development and had a greater understanding of the MYF than trained IAS volunteers would. This volunteer sign up was coordinated by the co-chairs of the Youth Pavilion (YP) subcommittee through a Google document which was distributed to all of the subcommittees and individuals signed up directly onto the spreadsheet. As was reported for the Commitments Desk in Toronto in 2006, volunteer coordinator was difficult and, as it turned out, IAS volunteers were an essential resource as they were native Spanish speakers and willing to learn the protocol of the desk and remain there for long shifts, training new volunteers as needed. One of the advocacy subcommittee co-chairs was present at the YP at all times to coordinate the Commitments Desk, train volunteers, answer inquiries about the YouthForce, and generally be available for YP needs. For the documentation of commitments, the co-chairs worked with TIG to developing an online form which would resolve many of the issues which arose from the commitments process in AIDS 2006. Unfortunately, the wireless internet in the Global Village did not function on Monday or most of Tuesday. It was also on and off for the rest of the week. This made commitment documentation very complicated and for many shifts throughout the week, volunteers had to document commitments on word documents. In total, the YouthForce took down 340 commitments from 49 different countries. High level decisions-makers who made commitments include the Minister of Health of Mexico, the Mayor of Mexico City, and the Swedish AIDS Ambassador. Initially, individuals who made commitments were given both a sticker and a t-shirt. As it turned out, giving out t-shirts proved to be problematic as many people began to come to desk solely for the YouthForce t-shirt. As a result, it was decided that t-shirts would no longer be given to those making commitments and the desk functioned much more smoothly for the last two days of the week as volunteers were better able to communicate with those approaching the desk and fully and accurately document commitments. Recommendations: − In order to support more efficient advocacy efforts in Vienna, the YouthForce should attempt to secure a booth in the main conference venue to house the Youth-Adult Commitments Desk and to serve as a point of access to YouthForce activities and messages for conference AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
delegates. Many conference delegates do not travel to the Global Village and as the MYF was not allowed to hang posters within the conference venue, the visibility of the MYF was hindered by the Youth Pavilion’s location. There was a significant disconnect between civil society conference delegates, who spent most of their time in the Global Village, and other delegates who stayed mainly in the Centro Banamex conference center. This was unfortunate, since displaying advocacy materials to civil society delegates is in many ways preaching the choir, whereas delegates more likely to be around the sessions’ venue are the decision-makers who are best targeted by the advocacy campaign’s messages and demands. The YouthForce must create a clear and decisive volunteer management strategy. Up until the week before the conference, it was undecided who would provide volunteers—the IAS or the YouthForce itself. As a result, it was impossible to recruit enough volunteers, and the disorganized process resulted in many no-shows and confusions. It was necessary for one of the co-chairs to be present in the YP to coordinate the Commitments Desk and other needs. Whatever is decided in regards to t-shirt distribution, it is essential to have one person in charge and, in conjunction with the YP coordinator, ensure that all volunteers are on the same page in order to avoid confusion and violation of the policy. Apart from internet issues, the online form was effective in documenting commitments. One of the Youth Programme staff had an attached wireless adapter which allowed volunteers to continue entering commitments online even when the wireless in the Global Village wasn’t working. The subcommittee should attempt to secure a few of these to ensure internet access even when confronted with internet issues within the conference venue. The advocacy subcommittee must coordinate with the film crew to ensure that they are oncall for when high profile decision makers visit the Commitments Desk. This was highly effective during AIDS2006 due to the commitment and availability of the TakingITGlobal film crew, but a lack of coordination during AIDS2008 meant that fewer high profile decision makers visited the desk and less film footage and photography captured concrete commitments being made.

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7. Youth Pavilion
7.1. Introduction
The AIDS 2008 Youth Pavilion, located in the Global Village, was the access point for youth into the IAC. The Global Village – including the Youth Pavilion - was open to the general public (free admission) and not just delegates of the conference. The Youth Pavilion was conceived as a youth-focused space for meetings, workshops and skillsbuilding, cultural events, forums, evening sessions; a space to highlight and showcase youth achievements, to facilitate networking opportunities with youth and adults in dialogue and continue the momentum of the Youth Pre-Conference. The Youth Pavilion was envisioned to be a dynamic exhibition, presentation and lounge area in the Global Village to showcase young people’s work on HIV and AIDS issues. The exhibits and sessions demonstrated that young people are necessary in working towards solutions in the global HIV response. In addition to serving as a youth advocacy hub, the youth pavilion provided space for presentations, art and media exhibits, meetings, dialogues, and workshops. It featured a room for youth living with HIV to connect and mobilize a youth meeting and networking room, a blogging computer station to document commitments to young people, an interactive art space graffiti wall, and more. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Throughout the conference, daily sessions were available within the Youth Pavilion to prepare young delegates to participate in the conference. These sessions provided young people with advocacy planning and tough them how to record and report back to their communities on lessons learned.

7.2. Planning Process
As the Youth Pavilion was –and has been- the most important space of the conference for young people to get together, the MYF was called to actively participate in the conceiving and materializing process of the pavilion. As the MYF works in subcommittees, integrated by individuals representing a broad-range of organizations working in the field of HIV and AIDS, a Youth Pavilion Subcommittee was settled. This subcommittee was charged with the task of coordinating a team of young people to work with the other Subcommittees and the IAS youth staff. It also served as the link between the IAS staff and the youth-lead organizations participating as members of the MYF in conceptualizing and implementing the Youth Pavilion. The Youth Pavilion planning process, due to its complexity, involved many people. The Programme Activities Team (specifically the Youth Programme staff), different departments within the IAS (logistics, IT, AV), the Youth Working Group, the YP sub-committee and the MYF were the most involved organizers of the Pavilion. Planning included a complete list of many different activities that oscillated from practical decisions on size or location to strong negotiations on content. Here are some of the activities that the planning process for the Youth Pavilion at AIDS 2008 demanded: Activity Decide the size of the Pavilion based on AIDS 2006 recommendations. For AIDS 2008, the Youth Pavilion was twice its previous size (200sq meters). Deadline November

Decide the YP physical location within the Global Village. Even though many changes were made on the Global Village layout, the Pavilion was November - January mai`ntained as a central piece of the arrangement. This gave us the possibility of being located on the main hallway and at the very center of the Global Village. Inform general public how to submit their applications to participate on the Youth Programme with sessions and/or workshops Receive and review the Youth Programme applications (screening and review process) Select the top scored applications Create a tentative schedule for the presentation space at the YP Inform the participants they have been selected (or rejected) Present YP layout proposals and 3D renders Select final layout and design Follow up and confirmation on accepted sessions and workshops (inform participants date and time of their presentations) Confirm their participation and keep track on schedule changes Follow up on advocacy campaign and printer materials for YP (banners, posters, postcards) November February – March Early April At the PAP Meeting (Early April) April April Early May Early May May May – early June

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
Follow up on scholarships allocation/acceptance Build up the final programme Design a participant guide for Youth Pavilion presenters (YP Booklet) Contract extra services (furniture, stage, printed materials) May – June June – early July Early July Early July

Build up the Pavilion (walls, furniture, decoration, computers, AV One week before the systems, electrical needs, etc.) conference

Recommendations: − Keep in mind that even if it seems that many people are involved directly or indirectly on the planning process (Youth Working Group, YouthForce) most of the decisions are made by the IAS itself. Therefore, we strongly recommend you (as onsite staff) to get involved with the organizations, the community and the YouthForce members as they have the experience you will need when making important decisions. − The Youth Programme Assistant role is vital in incorporating the viewpoints and perspectives of the young people into Youth Pavilion discussions onsite. − Although there was no direct incorporation of anyone on the committee into any of the planning meetings, the SC provided very helpful information on the topics young people wanted to see covered in the presentations as well as on the decoration of the pavilion and the function and purpose of each room within it. − The Youth Programme staff worked also with Hopes Voice International to institute a space for positive young people to work in and advocate from within the pavilion. We strongly recommend you to keep this space as it turned out to be a very friendly space for positive youth to connect.

7.3. Content Selection at the PAP Meeting
As one of the most important parts of the Global Village, the Youth Pavilion was compelled to highlight critical HIV/AIDS themes and priority issues for young people. Activities for the YP were selected by the Working Group, primarily from those applications submitted through the official process (opened from December 2007 to February 2008). After the official process for application submission ended, a screening process begun. The screening process was made by the local staff in order to ensure that no duplicated or test applications were part of the review process. After screening, the official review process with the WG members and WG members’ candidates was implemented. Local staff was not involved at this stage of the selection process. Top scored applications passed to the Programme Activities Planning Meeting (PAP), a pivotal event that had as main purpose to select the applications that will consolidate the final programme. The Meeting main objective of this meeting was to ensure a democratic selection process held by working group members and not by the IAS staff. Meeting participants include the entire Global Village (GV) working group, committee representatives and local members of the youth and cultural programme working groups. Secretariat staff was onsite only to help facilitate the selection process and were joined by a team member from Toronto local host office at AIDS 2006. Onsite, Working Group members and other consultants were divided in three main groups: sessions, cultural activities and booths. Each group had printed copies of the top scored applications for the Youth, Cultural and Global Village Programmes sorted by score. During the AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat 29

AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
meeting, each group had to decide which final activities will be and in which space they should take place (e.g. Session Room 1, Session Room 2 and Youth Pavilion). The final programme was built upon the selection made at the meeting. For the Youth Pavilion, the WG members selected 20 sessions and workshops that were directly addressed to youth. Sessions included panel discussions, debates and presentations with Q & A while workshops were a mix between skills building activities and interactive learning initiatives. Even if there was no representation from the Youth Pavilion sub-committee at the PAP meeting, the Youth Staff was able to translate their preferences to the WG members so they could ensure that the presentations selected matched up with the MYF wants and objectives. Recommendations: − Include YF suggestions. Most members have attended previous IACs so they know not only which are the hot topics but also they remember the content of previous pavilions. Input on content is always useful as you will be able to include innovative proposals. − Keep track on the top scored applications. Sometimes selected applications are repetitive and you will need to find some other activities to maintain topic, regional or group representation. − Make sure your participants will make it to the conference. Applications may be really good but you have to keep in mind that some other constraints are also important (e.g. internet access and communication, number of participants per activity, visas, scholarships). − Be well prepared for the meeting. Accurate information on number of applications, space and time availability, theme representation will be vital for you to plan the final program. − Make a logical team division at the PAP. As the youth programme is one of the biggest parts of the Global Village, you will find an enormous diversity of activities submitted by young people. Keeping track on each of them can be difficult if you don’t set clear parameters from the beginning. − The estimated number of subcategories desired activities needs to be decided in collaboration with the local staff –and the YF if possible- to ensure that the numbers are realistic.

7.4. Follow-up on participants and general planning
The notification process started after the PAP Meeting, at the end of April, with those applications selected by the WG members. The unsuccessful applicants were notified automatically by the system and the successful ones by a tailored letter made by the Youth Programme Assistant. The notification process of scholarships was made at the same time in order to let participants know if they were accepted in either processes or both. The biggest challenge at this stage was to ask participants all the missing information that was not considered at the application form. This was especially serious for sessions because the information provided on those forms did not include very important fields such as session title, number of participants, name and country of origin for speakers, chairs and co-chairs, etc. The process became particularly hard when trying to fit the Global Village activities –including the youth sessions- into the scientific format of the main conference sessions. We had to ask each participant for the exact title of their session as well as the exact title and duration of each presentation driven within the session. Evidently, as many of these sessions were planned by grassroots organizations, we faced many challenges in trying to get this information. First of all, the participants who submitted the application weren’t necessarily the ones planning the session which meant that the contact data we had belonged to an external person or to administrative staff from the organization. Second, when we contacted participants for confirmation on April and May, they were still planning what AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
to present and therefore they couldn’t provide us with accurate information on the format of their session, the presentation titles or the speakers order. We kept waiting for confirmation on speakers and presentations until the beginning of the conference and, at the end, this initiative meant an extra effort for the local team that was not necessarily useful. Recommendations: − Ask for detailed information from the very beginning. You need specific fields on the application form to be included. Here are some examples:  Session title  Number of participants  Real name and country of origin for each speaker, chair, co-chair or facilitator  Number of presentations expected and –at least- generic titles for each one  Precise audio visual equipment requirements  Sources of funding (in order to evaluate how likely it is the group will come if its application is accepted). − Make sure the IT department keeps the same ID number for each application on the Review System, Back Office and Planner. Ask them to also include the ID Number at the top of the application form so it can appear on printed versions. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep track on them. − Ask also the IT department to keep the application forms available for participants at least two weeks after the reception deadline. Local staff had to send many applications to participants as they didn’t save a copy for themselves and/or they submitted more than one application and they got confused on which one was selected. − Do not allow changes on the schedule unless really necessary. One month before the conference you need to have everything confirmed so the program can be send to the printer. − Set limits and clear deadlines to participants. Otherwise, schedule will keep changing until the opening day!

7.5. Youth Pavilion main areas
Welcome Desk a) What was involved
The Welcome Desk was the first thing people got to see when arriving to the Youth Pavilion. It was staffed by volunteers at all times throughout the conference. It served as the main checkin point for the Youth Pavilion and its presenters. There was a sign-in sheet for the workstation, as well as other Youth Force advocacy documents. We also had sign-up sheets to book time for informal meetings in the Networking Room and YPLHIV Room.

b) Who was involved
The Welcome Desk was operated by MYF and IAS volunteers and they were organized in three shifts (9am to 12pm, 12pm to 3pm and 3pm to 6pm). We tried to have 2 people per shift, for a total of 6 people per day. Usually we also had English and Spanish speakers each shift. The Welcome Desk volunteers were responsible for general inquiries, guiding people into the space, signing in speakers and presenters and downloading their presentation materials, signing up Youth Pavilion volunteers for shifts later in the week, and helping people sign up to schedule the Networking Room. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat 31

AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report c) Overall assessment / challenges
The welcome desk ran very smoothly in general terms. It served as a key contact space for participants, who were able to check-in, upload their presentations and clarify all their questions regarding their session and the general schedule. It also turned out to be an excellent spot for information distribution. We were able to give about 500 Youth Programme Booklets to young delegates, several thousands of condoms, postcards and pamphlets of the MYF organizations. Although, we faced some challenges due to the increasing number of visitors and the lack of volunteers. There were sometimes when the space was too crowded and only one volunteer was able to help.

d) Recommendations

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Make sure you have at least two volunteers at all times. You will need extra help mostly at the beginning and at the end. The last day of activities you will double the number of visitors as general public will be aware of the Global Village existence. Take time to explain the volunteers what their responsibilities are and what you expect from them. Clear definition on their role is vital for the good performance of the space. Design a clear and friendly form for participants check-in and networking rooms booking. Explain the volunteers the importance of having everything under control and then use the forms! At the end of the conference you will have accurate data on how many activities took place in each space and which were the main challenges.

Youth-Adult Commitments Desk
a) What was involved During AIDS 2008, 340 commitments were signed from 49 countries. The commitment process, developed by members of the MYF and the Youth Programme staff, went as follows: − Youth delegates, youth-based organizations and youth allies will urge everyone they meet (especially speakers after their sessions) to go to the Youth-Adult Commitments Desk in the Global Village and make a commitment to youth. At the desk, the person making a commitment will be asked to provide their contact information, the commitment being made and when this commitment should be completed. Memorable commitments or commitments made by world leaders will be advertised on the wall behind the Commitments Desk. They will also show up on the YouthForce website in an RSS feed automatically on rotation after they are uploaded. In the year following the conference, people who have made commitments will be contacted via e-mail by a young person in their country to inquire about the progress they have made with regard to their commitment. They will be asked to fill out a brief report form on their progress.

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Throughout the week, as commitments were made, they were typed up and posted in two places: 1) The wall behind the Commitments Desk (which was an invaluable strategy for inciting more commitments to be made) and 2) outstanding commitments were posted on the AIDS2008 youth website, making them available to the public and increasing accountability of all those making a commitment. b) Who was involved AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The commitments desk was staffed by two MYF volunteers who helped delegates, VIP guests and general public to fill out all of the information in the online form. The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) and Advocates for Youth created the commitments process, the appropriate forms and documents, and coordinated inputting, printing and posting of all commitments. GYCA was also designated to be responsible for followup on the commitments over the next two years. c) Overall assessment / challenges The Commitments Desk was an enormously popular space for people and media throughout the conference. This was directly linked to the theme of the Conference Universal Action Now! and it was an invaluable innovation to demand accountability during the Conference in a concrete, public way that can be followed up on in the future. There were a total of 340 commitments made by adult delegates from 49 countries. The best commitments of the day were typed and added to the AIDS2008 Youth Site. A quick perusal of the website illustrated how many meaningful commitments were made by high-level world leaders as well as grass-roots level activists ( Because of the extensive promotion and work by a number of staff of the Youth Programme as well as YouthForce and GYCA members, the desk received a large number of visitors. All youth at the Conference should be encouraged to use the Commitments Desk as a way to insist upon direct, tangible action during the Conference. d) Recommendations − Make sure your wireless connection is working properly on 24/7 basis. Sometimes the connection went down at the Global Village and the uploading process was interrupted several times. − You need a printer and two PCs at the commitments desk all the time. − Make sure you always have at least two volunteers taking care of the space and updating the information on the website. − Use your printed materials. We had a beautiful banner behind us that simulated an airport and its main objective was to showcase previous and new commitments by showing their status. Those achieved were supposed to be marked as “arrived”, those in progress as “on time”, those unachieved as “delayed” and so on. We weren’t able to use this wall at its maximum capacity because we didn’t get accurate information on the Toronto commitments status, we didn’t have the time to design and print the signs and because our MYF volunteers were focusing on upload all the information to the internet and not necessarily on printing signs and updating the wall. − Publicize commitments in the daily Conference newspaper and in the daily Conference news releases and press conferences (if possible).

The Advocacy Walls
a) What was involved There were several “walls” within the Youth Pavilion showcasing a variety of advocacy related initiatives. These include the Commitments Wall (explained above), the AIDS Jargon Wall and the Graffiti Wall. The AIDS Jargon Wall was an initiative held by the MYF for general public to understand the HIV/AIDS terminology and decode some complex terms and acronyms. Every Youth Pavilion visitor was able to lift up placards with the jargon words to see their significance underneath. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
The Graffiti Wall was also designed by the MYF to encourage young people to express themselves. Spontaneously, people got to share their thoughts, drawings, images, poems and words. This “piece of art” was a work-in-progress until the last day of the conference. The “Tendederos” were a very traditional Mexican concept we adapted for advertising and sharing information. Even if they were not an official part of the advocacy campaign, each one contained postcards, fact-sheets and different information with the MYF advocacy messages. They were like a marketplace of ideas, using colorful string to hang pamphlets, promotional materials, resources, and other information on groups. b) Who was involved The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) for the advocacy process, the jargon wall design and the e-consultation to create the advocacy messages; Advocates for Youth on the econsultation; the Mexico YouthForce for the advocacy messages; and the Youth Programme Staff for operational and logistic tasks. c) Overall assessment / challenges The advocacy walls were a tremendously helpful supplement for the various advocacy documents and materials available at the Youth Pavilion. They were part of the most strong and powerful advocacy campaign of the Global Village and helped young people to understand must of the scientific terms used in international conferences like AIDS2008. d) Recommendations − Encourage interactive learning using these amazing tools. Create an activity with the Jargon or the Graffiti wall so people can interact and actually learn the complex terminology of HIV/ AIDS. − Consider to use more attractive materials for the Graffiti wall. Use spray paint or something more visible than markers!

Photo and Art Display
a) What was involved Two art collections were displayed at the Youth Pavilion, both organized by the MYF. The goal was to create an opportunity for those young leaders who were unable to attend the conference by providing them with a space to express their thoughts and views to those attending. “AIDS in Focus” was a photography contest sponsored by the Mexico YouthForce in which young people was asked to submit their photographs on what AIDS meant to them and their communities. How does HIV/AIDS affect you as a young person? The beauty of these photographs was the ability to transcend language barriers while allowing cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. We received over 70 submissions from numerous countries. The photo and art exhibition inside the pavilion ran smoothly even if they didn’t have much impact. b) Recommendations − Bigger format, more visibility and maybe an explanation on what the artist meant and why is he/she involved on the HIV/AIDS response. − We only presented 5 photos on the YP and because of the small format and the already crowded walls they “fade” away. No one was really able to appreciate the pictures and of course, there was no explanation on How HIV/AIDS affected the photographer as a young person. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report Networking Room
a) What was involved A relaxed space furnished with couches and tables for informal meetings, networking and relaxing. This space also had wall space where young people and youth organizations were able to hang up posters advertising their projects and events. The time limit to use this room was 20 minutes. This space mostly ran itself, that is, required little staff or volunteer support. The most important work done was to have it set-up, ordering the furniture and respecting the schedule. Because the costs associated with renting furniture were astronomical, we decided to buy some cheap but very colorful “puffs” or “bean sacs” and use them as couches. We also rented two small coffee tables so people could use them as desks. All furniture was purchased or rented by our Youth Pavilion designers (Ideas Despacho Creativo, S.A.) who also took care of the setting-up along with the youth programme assistant. While challenging, this approach gave us more control over how the space looked, in addition to decorations, plants, and other accessories to make the space comfortable. b) Who was involved Youth Programme staff, members of the MYF and Youth Pavilion designers (Ideas Despacho Creativo). c) Overall assessment / challenges The Networking Room was valuable not only as a space to relax, plan for the day, have informal meetings, conduct interviews, but also as an all-purpose space should one be needed. For many events, presenters used this space to prepare for their performance or discussion and relax or network before and afterwards. Generally the space was quite useful for many groups who needed to rest or relax and network. Groups were encouraged to advertise their events by putting up posters on the Youth Pavilion Lounge Walls. This publicity tool was a very successful and provided a space for groups to share what they were doing. d) Recommendations − Make sure you always have a volunteer taking care of the space schedule. Use a booking form so you can always have control on who’s using the space and for how long. − Advertize the space at least one week in advance so youth organizations can start planning their meetings.

YPLHIV Networking Space
a) What was involved The YPLHIV networking space was located in one of the rooms of the Youth Pavilion and it was a very comfortable, spacious and conveniently located space. It was a friendly and welcoming area for all youth, both HIV negative and positive, to come together to build, share struggles and accomplishments with initiatives and sustain a movement surrounding the needs and rights of YPLHIV around the world. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
This unique space brought together advocates for and YPLHIV and increases the visibility and confidence of YPLHIV, the awareness of their issues to civil society and government officials alike, and the global network of YPLHIV. The YPLHIV had access to the computer stations zone so they could register to a social networking website, in partnership with TIG and GYCA that provided continued conversations and initiatives sharing. The networking space included information, materials and updates on events that were of interest for YPLHIV at the IAC. b) Who was involved The YPLHIV space was staffed by Hope’s Voice International volunteers who welcomed visitors to the space. The volunteers, all positive, were available to openly talk about their status and they created a safe environment for YPLHIV. When the space was not booked specifically for YPLHIV sessions, informal groups got the chance to use it for 20 minutes at a time. c) Overall assessment / challenges This was a very successful space for positive and non positive people to connect and create joint initiatives. Positive youth had, for the first time, a space for their and that alone was a huge success. Besides, the space served as the perfect venue for high level meetings. We had not only the visit of the president of MTV International but some other local leaders who came to talk and interact with young people living with HIV/AIDS. We faced some challenges especially regarding volunteer coordination. There were supposed to be 2 shifts of volunteers for the YPLWHIV Networking Room and the goal was to have one person scheduled per shift. However, there was rarely anyone in the mornings. d) Recommendations − Make sure you have enough volunteers. You will need at least one to take care of this space. − Advertize the space and give opportunity to youth organizations to schedule some activities there.

Workstation Area
a) What was involved The Workstation Area was a colorful corner of the Youth Pavilion reserved for members of the Mexico YouthForce and other scheduled presenters in the Youth Pavilion. There were 6 computers for the exclusive use of Youth Journalists, Youth Rapporteurs, Youth Pavilion presenters, Youth Pavilion Staff, YouthForce members and YPLHIV volunteers. The Workstation access guidelines were enforced by Youth Pavilion staff and volunteers. At the workstation area we had to order the internet service (LAN connection) and ensure that 6 PCs were available for the whole conference. The IAS IT department was in charge of ordering the computers, install all the necessary software and provide the internet access. We designed some policies regarding internet access and usage (time and designated users) and partnered with Taking IT Global, a youth-run information technology organization, who provided ongoing technical support for our website. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
All the technical support for the Workstation area was provided by PC Rent, a specialized Mexican company hired specifically to provide equipment and support to all conference spaces. b) Who was involved The MYF and IAS volunteers taking care of the Welcome Desk were also in charge of the workstation. There were 3 shifts for the Welcome Desk (9am to 12pm, 12pm to 3pm and 3pm to 6pm). There was usually one person per shift, though we had aimed for two. Often, the extra person who showed up became a “floater,” and helped out around the space. The Work Station volunteers were responsible for ensuring that the computer stations were available only to designated users. We also had support from PC Rent technicians, TakingItGlobal staff and many members from the MYF. c) Recommendations − Give all your technical requirements (computers, internet connection, software, printers, etc.) to the IT department at the IAS Geneva in time (at least two months beforehand). They will need time to order the equipment and they will need to consider that area as part of their conference responsibilities. − We had many problems with the electricity supplier company and four computers got burned due to a voltage failure. As there was only one electricity supplier for the whole Global Village, they not only forgot to check the voltage on every single plug but we also had to wait an entire day for them to fix the problem. − Most of the times we had people working on this space without letting the volunteers know. We strongly recommend that presenters who need to use a computer workstation sign the Workstation Schedule Sheer at the Welcome Desk to ask for an allotted time slot. − Make sure no one introduce food or drinks to the Workstation. If anyone does it, encourage them to keep the area as clean as possible. − The computers were a very important tool archiving many activities that went on at the Pavilion and in general throughout the Conference for youth.

Presentation Space
a) Who was involved Stage Manager, Co-coordinator and Technical staff: Run all the Youth Pavilion activities needed the support of four hired staff. During the week of the conference, the Pre-Conference officer became the YP Stage Manager, the Youth Reception officer became the YP co-coordinator and the Youth Programme Assistant became the YP on-site Coordinator. The three of them were in charge of conducting all necessary follow-up leading to the week and manage logistics of performances and sessions during the conference week. An AV technician was also hired to help with technical and audio-visual requirements. The Youth Programme Assistant coordinated the build-up, all logistical details prior and during the conference and the take down of the pavilion. Volunteers: At any one point in time there were several IAS and MYF volunteers acting as Assistant Stage Managers to re-organize the space between performances. b) Recommendations

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
− Be very clear of how much time each activity requires to ensure that no group is given less time than it needs. Also, allot at least fifteen minutes between scheduled events to accommodate change-over and to re-arrange the room. For staff hired to organize the Youth Pavilion, at least three are required: two for general logistics, build-up of the site, coordinating various other activities, and one specifically for the events (the Stage Manager). Due to the intensity and crowd levels, it was difficult to monitor equipment. Ensure that all equipment is properly secured. Ensure the space is very flexible as each group will require a different set-up and organization. A large complement of audio visual equipment is important in order to accommodate many different types of performances; having wireless microphones, lavalieres, corded microphones, quality sound speaker system and a mixing board was essential to successful events. Ensure you always count with an effective cleaning service. Even if we have a cleaning company hired for the whole Global Village, local staff spent quite long time cleaning and picking up garbage from the floor, the networking rooms and the workstation.

− − −

High level guests and VIP visits
A variety of important people visited the Youth Pavilion. On August 4, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visited a full Youth Pavilion and gave a statement on the importance of youth participation and the meaningful inclusion of marginalized groups. Although he didn’t make a commitment, his visit was one of only two stops he made in the Global Village and brought important attention to the Youth Programme. Other high profile guests included the mayor of Mexico City, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Social Development, the director of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission and other important leaders from international organizations such as the World AIDS Campaign. For each visit, the local Youth Pavilion Coordinator and several members of the MYF had to get involved in the security and logistics protocol. Sometimes, the YP staff even had to take care of media coverage, which was not only time consuming but also a big issue. Previous visits to identify the walking tours are needed as well as more effective coordination with the VIPs team and the venue and the security staff. Recommendations: − Sometime throughout the planning phase, a logistical procedure should be made up for the handling of high level guests in the Youth Pavilion. Things that seem very minor actually end up to be a very big deal, and rather time consuming, in the end. − Speakers should be decided on and at least one person should be prepared to be the logistical contact and arrange things. This person should be prepared to make last minute decisions that may have to be executive and everyone should respect what he or she decides. − When planning the layout think about the possible routes for visits. We found very important to have a main entrance, with the Youth Commitment Desk, and one big emergency exit. This will allow people to circulate and not interrupt the visitors rout. − Consider that you will need many volunteers to set up barriers and help coordinate last minute emergencies. − Avoid having more than one VIP at the time. − Coordinate your team with the security company staff. Sometimes they need to do some check-ups at the venue and that may interrupt some sessions or activities.

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report

8. Media and Communications
8.1. Introduction
The media and communications Subcommittee was one of the six committees formed by the Mexico YouthForce. The subcommittee’s work was conducted between January 2008 and September 2008. The Media and Communications subcommittee met once every two weeks via MSN, Conference Call, or Elluminate (online meeting software). In the weeks before the conference began there was a need to meet on a more frequent basis, so the committee met every week. In between meetings, a TakingITGlobal group was used to keep in touch and share documents ( Google Documents was also heavily used to collaboratively edit documents.

8.1 Activities Description
Special Partnerships - Burson and Marsteller involvement Thanks to the help of UNESCO, the MYF was able to gain the support of Burson Marsteller ( Burson Marsteller, a globally recognized public relations firm, helped with press interest and was also involved with the MYF press conferences/ spokesperson team and other media activities including a Press Conference one month before the IAC, invitations to the media for youth activities and the media team for the Youth Reception. They also trained the youth speakers and youth media. UNESCO, as a part of their financial support to MYF got them involved. Mexico YouthForce Newsletter Prior to the conference, a MYF newsletter was produced by the MYF2. In total, the committee produced four newsletters and on each, the following sections were included: − − − − − Speakers Corner (article written by a young person) Profile (of a youth delegate) Subcommittee Up-dates (Jo Anne liaised with the chairs of this committee to get up-dates) Get Involved (Opportunities for involvement) Resources

Online editions of the newsletters were posted on the Youth AIDS Site and were also distributed via the MYF Listserv which reached almost 600 individuals. Youth Spokespeople Selection Process: In total 10 youth spokespeople were selected. The selected spokespeople were the focal points for the media at AIDS 2008 and were responsible for highlighting youth issues and the key messages of the Mexico YouthForce at the conference. It was stressed that all spokespeople must be comfortable with the principles and values of the YouthForce and the advocacy messages that had been developed for AIDS 2008. The committee also took recommendations from AIDS 2006 into account when selecting the team and included younger spokespeople. This year’s spokespeople were also not as well-known as the ones that were selected for AIDS

Prior to the formation of the committee and youth website, the newsletter was produced and housed by Advocates for Youth.

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
2006 which the committee felt was also a positive change. Caitlin Chandler, a member of the media and communications committee, was the focal point for the youth spokespeople. Training: Upon selection all of the spokespeople were invited to a Youth Spokespeople Project Page on TakingITGlobal ( The main objective of this page was to create an online space where spokespeople could network, receive up-dates, read important documents, and be made aware of key dates (e.g. dates of press conferences). An online training was also offered via Elluminate to prep the spokespeople on some YouthForce basics- history, goals, and advocacy messages for AIDS 2008. All of the youth spokespeople were supposed to participate in an in-person training on July 29th that was to be run by Burson Marsteller. Unfortunately, due to the nature of flights not everyone was going to be able to attend this training. Due to small numbers, the training was postponed and those that were available were sent to alternative trainings 3 At the youth pre-conference the spokesperson team met twice with members of the media and communications committee to go over the details of the press conferences. They also participated in a “mock-style” press conference where they learned how to answer questions that may be asked to them in the real press conferences. Prior to each press conference, the spokespeople met with members of the committee and also with Burson Marsteller. Here they received pointers on their remarks. Selected Youth Spokespeople: − − − − − − − − − − Andrew Francis (Advocates for Youth, Jamaica) Kyla Zanardi (Youth R.I.S.E., Canada) Rodrigo Olin (Ave de Mexico, Mexico) Alischa Ross (Y.E.A.H, Australia) Himakshi Piplani (GYCA, India) Imane Khachani (Youth Coalition, Morocco) Attapon “Ed” Ngoksin (ITPC, Thailand) Nickie Imanguli (Advocates for Youth, Azerbaijan) Vanessa Mlawi (Plan Tanzania, Tanzania) Kalindy Bolivar (Plan International, Ecuador)

Recommendations: − With regards to the youth spokespeople, it is clear that they needed training. In future conferences there should be provisions made for the early arrival of the youth spokespeople, so that there can be a proper training given. If the help of a public relations firm is secured then this is an area that they could help with. − It would be advised that daily briefings occur with the spokesperson team. The point of these would be to set up any media interview requests, etc. If finances are available, it would also be good if the spokespeople could each have a cell phone for use throughout the conference so the committee can keep in touch with them. Another way that the media and communications team could keep in touch with the spokespeople would be at the media desk (at the youth pavilion). Press Releases and Kits


Run by World AIDS Campaign and the Agentes de Cambio Training

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
There were two press releases created for the YouthForce by Burson Marsteller. The focus of the release was to generate press interest prior to the two press conferences. The fact sheets that were to form the basis of the press kits were produced by the MYF. The fact sheets that were produced were: − − − − − − About the Mexico YouthForce About Young People and HIV Key Messages of the Mexico YouthForce Youth Participation About the Youth Spokespeople Calendar of Main Events

The MYF was under the impression that the production of the press kits was the responsibility of the Public Relations firm 4. However, and as it didn’t happen, the media and communications committee began to create their own press kits. Unfortunately, because of timing and short notice only 50 full press kits could be produced (English and Spanish). Press Conferences Prior to the Conference, with the help of Burson Marsteller and UNESCO, a press conference was held in Mexico City prior to AIDS 2008 on July 2nd, 2008. The goal of this was to create local media interest prior to the youth pre-conference and the main conference. Rodrigo Olin, a member of the youth spokesperson team, spoke on behalf of the MYF. At the Conference there were two Mexico YouthForce press conferences held at AIDS 2008. The first was held on the first day of the official conference while the second was held on the penultimate day of the conference. The media and communications committee submitted the third-party press conference forms to the IAS by May 2008. By that point the title of the press conferences and spokespeople for each had been identified. Titles of Press Conferences: − Setting the Agenda for Youth at AIDS 2008 o Focus was on presenting the history of YouthForce and the key advocacy messages of MYF at AIDS 2008. Each spokesperson in this particular press conference spoke to a different message from a personalized perspective. Uniting Against Stigma and Discrimination: A Youth Perspective5 o Focus on creating awareness and strengthening the voice of marginalized HIV/AIDS populations (e.g. young injecting drug users, young sex workers)

At each of the press conferences, there were approximately 20-25 members of the press present. At the time it was felt that this was a small number, but it was learned after that the YouthForce press conferences were well attended in comparison to other third-party press conferences held at AIDS 2008. In addition there was substantial interest in interviewing the youth spokespeople after the conferences were finished.

8.2 Promotion of Youth Programme- Avenues used

4 5

As per an e-mail that was received on the 23rd of July. Video footage of this press conference is available for viewing on the YouthForce You Tube channel

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
One of the main responsibilities of the media and communications committee was the promotion of the Mexico YouthForce. A variety of communication channels were used in order to expand the reach of the YouthForce. Youth AIDS 2008 website URL: In early 2008, the official youth website for AIDS 2008 was launched. This website was one of the main communication sources for individuals interested in the activities of the MYF. The media and communications committee was responsible for helping to develop and implement aspects of the website. In May 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between TakingItGlobal (the developers) and the IAS (Annex ?). The website was a very important tool for the MYF in order to share important documents, history and opportunities for young delegates. The website is still being updated and it will be kept on-line forever. TakingITGlobal URL: Leading up to the conference, TakingITGlobal helped to actively promote and generate interest in the work of the YouthForce through its monthly newsletters and online community. Over 200,000 young people are involved in the TakingITGlobal network. In March 2008, two live chats (one in English and the other in Spanish) were held on TakingITGlobal. Individuals from the MYF Working Group volunteered to be panellists and helped to answer participants’ question on the history and goals of the YouthForce. Facebook URL: At the beginning of 2008, a Facebook Page was created to boost awareness of the work that the Mexico YouthForce was doing. The goal of Facebook Pages is to help groups, like MYF, communicate for free with their “fans”. One of the main benefits of creating this page was having the ability to send direct, weekly up-dates to people about recent news. FLICKR URL: The MYF created a group on Flickr, the world’s most popular photo-sharing site. There were three main goals for this group when it was created. − − − Creating an online space where delegates could share their event photos Having a space for the photos taken by the youth journalist team Having a space where a photo contest could occur

Over 310 photos were collected in this group. MYF Photo Contest on Flickr: “AIDS in Focus” was a photography contest sponsored by the Mexico YouthForce. The concept behind the contest was simple; we wanted youth to submit their photographs on what AIDS meant to them and their communities. How does HIV/AIDS affect you as a young person? The beauty of photography is that it has the ability to transcend language barriers and to allow cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. We received over 70 submissions from numerous countries. Five photos were selected to be displayed at the Youth Pavilion. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat 42

AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
You may still view the entire collection by visiting YOU TUBE URL: A YouTube channel6 was set up primarily for the video clips produced by the Youth Journalists, but this ended up being a great way to attract attention of those previously unaware of the work of the YouthForce. One of the ways that increased traffic was driven to the channel was by searching for other videos from the conference and adding them as favorites of the channel. This helped other organizations and individuals, such as the YMCA, become more aware of the videos we were producing. Results: − Over 40 videos uploaded 7; − Over 664 channel views; − Almost 4,000 views of the videos on the channel8; − #2 most watched Reporter YouTube Channel during week of conference (Canada) −

8.3 Other Promotional Vehicles Used
Quantum Shift TV − A video contest, Speak out on AIDS, was held on this youth-focused video site. Four videos were submitted ( Mention of MYF on other Websites − A permanent link to the Youth AIDS Site was available on the UNAIDS Youth section − Link to Youth AIDS Site on UNFPA Homepage − On MYF Partner Websites (e.g. Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS) − The UN youth newsletter, the Iberoamerican Youth Organization among others also included the link to our website. Contacts of Committee − Each individual on the media and communications committee was asked to reach out to their own networks Brand recognition beyond Mexico A lot of work that was done by this year’s media and communications committee was done in the hopes that there will be continuity between AIDS 2008 and future International AIDS Conferences. YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr are all sites that can be used again instead of constantly recreating things. These groups will also help us easily tap into a group of supporters prior to 2010. Recommendations:

6 7 8

A Reporter channel More videos still to be uploaded at time of report At the time of writing the report (August 26th, 2008)

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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
− For these activities to be successful it is vital to count on one person who speaks the other official language at the conference. It would also be recommended that the one of the cochairs be based in the conference city. It is recommended that early on the chairs of the committee set up a meeting with the IAS to determine what the scope of their media and communications activities may be. It may also be useful to set up a Memorandum of Understanding with them as that will establish guidelines right from the start. For documentation of media interest, it is suggested that a database of some sorts is created in order to create a space where individuals can easily see what interviews have been conducted, what articles have been written, and who the sources are. Due to the confusion of what the committee was actually allowed to do, a media desk at the youth pavilion was never set up to control media interest of the YouthForce at the main conference. If a media desk at future conferences is allowed then it will be easier to keep track of who is interviewing who, etc. For AIDS 2008, a youth spokesperson bio book was created to show to media, but it was never really used as there was no real place for it. This would also be a place where media could approach the YouthForce to schedule interviews. If a public relations firm is chosen to work with the YouthForce then there should be clear parameters as to what their responsibilities will be and what the YouthForce can expect of them. Preferably, the firm should be operating in the host conference city and be able to liaise on an ongoing basis with the local organizers. A written agreement should also be established.

8.4. Youth Journalist Team

The Youth Journalist team, headed by Laura Kenyon of the Media and Communications committee, was made up of nine individuals 9. They were responsible for producing mediarelated content for the Youth AIDS 2008 website throughout the main conference and the youth pre-conference. Youth Journalist Team Members: Carrie Faulks (South Africa and United States), Laura Kenyon (Chief Youth Journalist) (Canada), Francisco Pereira (Ecuador), Georgina Caswell (United Kingdom), Daniel Yang (United States), Marius Juel-Hovland (Norway), Víctor M. Reñazco (Mexico), Raphaela Rainer (Austria), Victor Alfonso Salazar (Mexico), Muntasir Mamun (Bangladesh). Selection Process: A call for Youth Journalists was first developed in April 2008 and was promoted heavily via the MYF listserv, TakingITGlobal, and the MYF newsletter. Of all of the criteria that youth journalists had to fulfil the most important was to already be attending AIDS 2008 as the MYF could not offer any funding to individuals. Trainings: Upon selection, all of the Youth Journalists were invited to a TakingITGlobal Project Page. Here they were able to receive important information and also were able to start to acquaint themselves with how to effectively report on HIV/AIDS10 . Prior to the conference, an online training was held (via Elluminate) for the team. The goal of this training was to help the team

In the Call for Youth Journalists it was made clear that all those applying to be a youth journalist at the conference had to already be attending the conference and/or financially able to do so as the MYF was unable to provide any kind of financial support. The media and communications committee sourced training materials. Much of the training was done based on the UNESCO HIV/AIDS Language Guidelines and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Reporting Manual.


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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
further understand who the MYF was (goals, messages, background) and what their responsibilities were. In-person training was given at the youth pre-conference. This training focused more on the specifics of effectively reporting on HIV/AIDS. Throughout the conference, the head of the youth journalist team met daily with the youth journalists to get a better sense of what their daily plan was and to also answer any questions they may have had. Equipment: − Nokia N95 Phones 11: each of the youth journalists had the use of a phone throughout the conference. The Nokia N95 has the ability to record audio, take photographs, and to also record short video clips. − 1 video camera − Computers at the Youth Pavilion: computers were provided to help youth journalists and other youth delegates upload any media they created at the conference.

8.5. Key Results
− − The youth website had 25,000 visits and 17,000 visitors in 5 months (April-August) Over 40 videos 12 were produced and are available for viewing on the Youth AIDS site and the YouthForce YouTube Channel. The channel has had over 664 views and during the conference was the #2 most watched Reporter Channel on YouTube (Canada). Over 100 photos were taken by the youth journalist team and are available on the Youth AIDS Site and the Flickr Group ( Over 13 blog entries were written by the Youth Journalist team ( group/myfjournalist and also on the Youth AIDS Site). In addition, over 100 blogs (written and video) were created by youth delegates and the Agentes de Cambio Winners 13

− −

Recommendations: − Start hiring youth journalists as early as possible: This is difficult because it is dependent on how early delegates are confirmed for the youth pre-conference, as ideally youth journalists would attend both the pre-conference and the official conference. An issue this year was youth journalist candidates being unable to receive visas or registering late for the official conference, it would be helpful to issue plenty of reminders when hiring youth journalists of what the cut-off dates are for registration to the official conference and receiving visa recommendation letters from the IAS. − Meeting with team well before conference: Determining expectations – what each youth journalist hopes to accomplish – and what kind of media they are most interested in producing (i.e. will they focus on writing full-length articles or shorter blogs? Will they focus primarily on video, or photography?) Also ensure that youth journalists are familiar with how to upload media to the youth website and have the access necessary, so they can begin to upload content in anticipation of the pre-conference or as soon as the pre-conference begins. − Make sure the website will display youth journalist content prominently: For Mexico City we had a Youth Journalist Blog, an Organizer Blog and a Delegate Blog – but the youth journalist blog also displayed on the homepage of the Youth Site which gave it greater prominence.
11 12

TakingITGlobal wrote a proposal requesting this donation. 12 phones were donated. Videos consisted of clips and interviews conducted during the youth pre-conference and main conference The "Agentes de Cambio" (Agents of Change) was a scholarship competition run with MTV for 15 young Latin American "digital reporters."


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AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
− − It would also be great to differentiate between youth journalist produced videos and photographs and those added by delegates, this year they were all mixed together. Identifying key events/people to cover: Good to have the coordinator of the youth journalist team in contact with the Youth Pre-Conference, Youth Pavilion, and Youth Reception chairs to get info on the events and important visitors youth journalists may want to cover. Badges: creating special Youth Journalist badges with the Mexico YouthForce logo worked out really well in Mexico – it actually helped some youth journalists get interviews since it worked like "proof" that they were authentic youth journalists. Major media outlets: it would be great to find some other outlets for the media created by the youth journalists beyond only the Youth AIDS site – getting it picked up by major media would be great exposure for the Youth Force. Writers, photographers and videographers: was definitely great to have writers, photographers, and videographers on the team this year - made the website diverse and dynamic!

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9.Youth Pre-Conference
9.1. Introduction
From July 31st through August 2nd 2008 the Youth Pre-Conference brought over 250 Young delegates together in Mexico City at Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco. Activists from all around the world hold a meaningful participation through different sessions and workshops while receiving useful information and skills to get prepared for the main Conference, for that reason one of the two main objectives from the Youth Pre-Conference was achieved. The Pre-Conference had two main objectives. First, it aimed to provide technical information and capacity building on the political, scientific, economic and social context of HIV and AIDS to young people ages 16 to 26 so they could effectively participate in the XVII International AIDS Conference. Second, through information, advocacy, and relationship-building, it aimed to empower young people to be advocates for youth and for an end to HIV and AIDS at the main conference, in their home countries and internationally. The Pre-Conference consisted of informative and skills-building workshops around HIV and AIDS issues, ranging from scientific knowledge to effective political advocacy. Participants also gained skills in research methodology, monitoring and evaluation, media and communications, as well as updated information on prevention strategies, harm reduction, and details on treatment. Participants learned how to advocate to policymakers on issues relevant to young people and how to deliver the YouthForce’s advocacy messages at the conference and beyond. 89% of participants stated that after the Pre-Conference, they were better prepared for AIDS 2008 and they felt better prepared to continue working against the pandemic at home. In addition, it provided a space for young people to network with one another and share their expertise and experiences in the field of HIV and AIDS. 85% of participants said they made valuable connections with other youth activists as a result of the Pre-Conference, and many participants spoke about how much they valued spending time with and learning from such an accomplished group of international youth.

9.2. Participants
Approximately 330 young people from 68 different countries participated in the Youth PreConference. (A list of attendees’ home countries can be found in Appendix A.) 25% of attendees were from Mexico, with an additional 30% from other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants were 47% male and 52% female, with 1% identifying as transgender. The Pre-Conference participant application in 2008 was longer than that of 2006, with questions added to determine applicants’ experience and readiness to take advantage of the learning opportunities. However, as it happened, we had adequate space to be able to accept all applications which were submitted by the deadline. Additionally, many of those submitted after the deadline were also accepted, as we were later able to extend our capacity from 250 to 300 and ultimately to 330. Applications, which were due by May 15th, were submitted to a central email account (, and logged into an Excel database by the subgroup that focused specifically on participants. All communication with participants was through that email address. They first received an acceptance letter and then several subsequent emails in the months leading up to the conference, with key information, including a guide to Mexico City. In addition, questions were answered as they arose in correspondence with that central account. This helped shift the burden of emails away from any one particular person. Participants were entered in an excel database as they were accepted. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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The application form should clearly note that registration for the Pre-Conference does not guarantee registration for the IAC, and vice versa. Additionally, it should express that PreConference organizers cannot assist in paying for flights and scholarships to attend the IAC. The IAS staff shared information with registered youth delegates about the Pre-Conference, which was appreciated. However, in future years, it is key to make sure that youth delegates know that they must fill out a separate application form in order to attend the youth PreConference. Young delegates should also understand that telling the IAS they’re interested in the Pre-Conference does not constitute registration for the Pre-Conference. While the bulk of participants applied and were accepted before the deadline, additional people were taken on a rolling basis up until the week before the Pre-Conference. While this is not an ideal situation in terms of organization, it seems somewhat inevitable. In the month leading up to the Pre-Conference, various potential participants fell through, generally due to lack of funding and problems with visas, and additional people obtained funding and expressed interest in attending the Pre-Conference. Of the 326 registered participants, 51 did not arrive but 55 other young delegates came, specially from Mexico. The majority of these can be attributed to problems with African delegates receiving Mexican visas to attend the conference, and to some Mexican registered participants who were not fully committed to attending. On the other hand, 28 people showed up without being registered. A few had assumed that they did not need to register to attend and had booked tickets accordingly, and a fair number of people who were assisting in presenting a workshop or who had official roles as part of the YouthForce had erroneously believed that they were automatically registered for the Pre-Conference. In addition, some youth from Mexico City who were connected with organizations that were part of the PreConference came to the venue wanting to participate. Since space was available, due to those who did not arrive, we were able to be flexible and permit them to attend.

9.3. Presenters and Sessions
During the two and a half days of the pre-conference, over 75 presenters led 33 90-minute sessions. During sessions, which took place in both English and Spanish, participants gained a range of skills such as effective messaging and policy change, and increased their knowledge on topics such as the gendered impact of HIV, youth rights, and epidemiology. (The PreConference programme can be found in Appendix B.) Of the presenters who shared their expertise and experience, the large majority were also youth participants in the PreConference. Session rooms were filled with lively dialogue and interactive small group work. Some key themes that were highlighted in discussions included the right to comprehensive sexuality education and harm reduction services, the need to allocate both human and financial resources to young people, the importance of respecting the realities of young people’s lives, and the fact that young people are an extremely heterogeneous group, who also make up parts of other marginalized groups, including sex workers, drug users, young people living with HIV, and men who have sex with men. Participants also highlighted structural factors that contribute to vulnerability to HIV, such as gender inequality, homophobia, and violation of their human rights. 96% of respondents reported that they improved their skills and knowledge in a range of areas due to the Pre-Conference. Advocacy and media were highly rated, with 60% of respondents stating they gained advocacy skills, and 45% of respondents noting that they gained media skills. In addition, 53% said they gained skills in networking, 40% in policy analysis and advocacy, 27% in understanding and using research, and 20% in fundraising. When asked in which areas they had gained knowledge, 62% of participants said they had done so on HIV and young people, 48% gained knowledge on HIV in Latin America, and 44% gained knowledge on AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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young people living with HIV. Many participants also increased knowledge in other areas: 37% on gender, 32% on HIV transmission, 28% in policy, and 27% on research and epidemiology. In order to select sessions, the presenter application form, adapted only slightly from the 2006 version, was publicized among relevant networks, listservs, and the professional contacts of YouthForce organizers and subcommittee members. We received 49 applications, spanning a range of topics, which were reviewed, discussed, and rated by a subgroup of the subcommittee. Once the key topics were determined, we assessed the selected workshops for gaps and solicited presenters for sessions covering those topics. In the application, potential presenters were asked to identify their session as either skillsbuilding or knowledge-based session. However, in practice, this was a fairly fluid boundary. Several presenters identified their sessions as both, and some presenters categorized their sessions differently than expected. In 2010, it would be worthwhile to consider whether this is a useful structure by which to frame sessions. In most session blocks, we offered four sessions at once to allow participants to choose the session that most appealed to them. However, there were a few sessions, such as HIV basics, Advocating for the Youth Force, and the Main Conference Orientation, which were deemed important for all participants to attend, and thus a few time blocks only offered those sessions presented simultaneously in English and Spanish. Overall, participants said that they enjoyed and learned from sessions. Interestingly, when participants answered questions about sessions they gained the most and least from, there was a wide range of answers. Several sessions were mentioned repeatedly in both categories. Some sessions and topics which received a lot of positive feedback were those on LGBT/MSM topics, Young People Living with HIV, Fighting for Evidence-based Sex Education, Creating an Advocacy Plan, Policy Analysis, Epidemiology is For Everyone, Fundraising, and the Main Conference Orientation. Other sessions which participants said could have been improved were Creating an Advocacy Plan, Accountability to Young people, Gender and HIV, and Writing for the Media, as well as other unspecified media sessions. One thing to take into account in 2010 is to ensure a balance between basic and advanced sessions. The Pre-Conference drew a remarkable range of participants, from those who were new to the HIV and AIDS field to those who had worked in the field for years. This was a strength in terms of networking and knowledge sharing; however, some attendees found many of the sessions to be too basic. In future Pre-Conferences, this could be avoided by making sure to select both basic and advanced sessions on key topics such as advocacy or media, as well as selecting some sessions which focus on topics with which many participants may not have had previous experience. This would allow both beginning and advanced participants to learn about new topics. Participants in the Pre-Conference suggested the following topics as ones which would be valuable to include in future Pre-Conferences: pre- and post-test counseling, ARV treatment and young people, sex work and young people living on the street, migration, region-specific policy, transgender women’s issues, needle exchange, advanced sex education, more human rights-focused topics, HIV from the point of view of the patient, and teamwork strategies. Also, it would increase the utility of many sessions to have them in a workshop format. Many participants mentioned as well that it would be helpful to have more science-focused session. Because the International AIDS Conference is very science-focused, and many youth activists lack a strong scientific background, science-focused sessions, on topics such as epidemiology, research on the virus, vaccine research and others, would provide a key link. The Pre-Conference held sessions for only half the day on Saturday August 2nd to enable participants to attend the 1st International March Against Stigma, Discrimination and Homophobia, which took place that afternoon. Local members of the subcommittee, who were involved in organizing the march, brought it to our attention during the planning stages, and we AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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decided that it would be an appropriate way to end the Pre-Conference. In practice, it worked out very well. Participants took their convictions to the streets and displayed signs and t-shirts with the YouthForce advocacy messages, while also getting a chance to be outside, socialize and bond with one another, while seeing more of Mexico City. Presenters were not financially compensated for their presentations. However, they were presented with a Mexican handicraft, and some participants who expressed need were provided with free housing in the Pre-Conference hotels.

9.4. Logistics Before the Pre-Conference
The IAS youth program staff, as well as local subcommittee members, did a tremendous amount of work on the logistics of the Pre-Conference. For additional information on this, please see their report, available at Funding from UNFPA covered housing for 250 participants and 10 presenters, for the four nights of the conference (July 30th to August 2nd). While Pre-Conference organizers were successful using university dorms in 2006, dormitories were not available in Mexico City. Instead, we chose to use hotels. Due to heavy demand on hotels in Mexico City and the limitations of our budget, we were not able to find one hotel which could house all participants. Participants were split between two nearby hotels, and most stayed in double rooms. Local members of the subcommittee, as well as IAS youth program staff, assisted in locating housing, with the help of a travel agent. While this worked out in the end, there were some complications due to miscommunication as well as the late dispersal of funding for the hotels. The hotels were about a 15 minute drive from the Pre-Conference venue, so we organized buses to run between the hotels and the venue at the beginning and end of each day. IAS youth program staff took the lead on this as well using IAS-organized transportation. It worked quite well, though the ideal situation would be to have housing and the venue within walking distance of one another. The Pre-Conference was held at the Centro Cultura Universitariol Tlatelolco, which is part of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). It was centrally located and ideally set up for our purposes, with an auditorium with capacity for 400, another large room with capacity for 250, and three smaller rooms with capacity for about 50 people. Two of these smaller rooms were used consistently for sessions while the last one functioned as the staff office most of the time, though twice the space was needed for sessions. We used the lobby area for registration, where tables were set up for participants and presenters to share their organizations’ materials. We also had another large room to use for serving lunch. The one disadvantage with this otherwise great space was that tables and chairs were not moveable, which caused difficulties for some of the more dynamic activities in workshops. Though we did pay to use the Centro Tlaltelolco, we were able to obtain a rate far below their standard price, because IAS program staff was able to meet and gain the support of high UNAM officials. Projection and sound equipment was available, but there were some complications. Better communication with presenters and venue staff beforehand would have improved these. Food for participants was covered in a variety of ways. Breakfast took place at the hotels, as it was included in the price of lodging, a caterer provided lunch and coffee breaks at the Centro Tlaltelolco, and the YouthForce provided participants with a per diem of US$30 each to cover the costs of their dinners for the three nights. We received some negative participant feedback about the quality of lunch, as well as the lack of vegetarian options. The IAS program staff were the key liaisons with the caterer. Distributing dinner per diems was complicated, as it happened at registration and records were not kept consistently. Despite this, with the PreConference ending each day by 6 pm, it seemed the most logical option and was likely less AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat 50

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complicated than coordinating an additional catered meal each day. In addition, there was not enough bottled water available. While we were able to purchase some additional water, lack of adequate water was a serious issue particularly in Mexico where tap water is not potable. Participants booked their own flights, and were asked to notify the subcommittee of their arrival times, to best coordinate airport pickup. While some did, over half of participants did not notify us. This made it difficult to anticipate when we needed to have volunteers at the airport. Based on the information we did have, we placed volunteers at the airport, in rotating shifts, from 9 am to midnight the day before the Pre-Conference began. Volunteers (discussed in more detail below) were responsible for assisting arriving participants to locate the transportation vans to the hotels, which were graciously provided at the last moment by the local UNFPA office. Previous to their offer, our plan had been to have volunteers assist arriving participants in locating safe cabs and sharing them with other participants, or in taking the metro if they preferred. While that plan would have been fine, it was certainly easier to have vans going directly to hotels for free. One key area which could be improved was communication on assessing which Pre-Conference participants were in fact actually registered for the IAC. For this purpose, the “Save the Date” for the Pre-Conference, as well as any communication about it, should be very clear on the matter of applications. It should specify very clearly that all participants must apply for PreConference, and while registration for the IAC is a necessary pre-condition to participate in the Pre-Conference, those who wish to participate in the Pre-Conference must apply specifically to the Pre-Conference. When participants applied for the Pre-Conference, we asked them to provide their IAS registration number. However, many did not, even after repeated requests. Eventually, we shared our list of prospective attendees with IAS staff, who let us know who was and who was not actually registered. As well, they shared their list of people who had informed them they were attending the youth pre-conference with us. This was helpful as it let us get in contact with potential participants who had not understood that separate registration was necessary for the Pre-Conference. However, this type of communication should happen earlier in the process, and in a more consistent way, as it helped clear up doubts on both ends.

9.5. Logistics During the Pre-Conference
We chose to do registration at the hotels for the majority of participants, with participants who arrived late and those who did not stay in our hotels registering in the morning of the first day of the Pre-Conference. Registration consisted of locating participants in our database, sharing necessary information with them, giving them conference materials and per diems, and having them sign officially for their per diems. We had volunteers at both hotels from 9 am to 9 pm to register participants. This worked fairly well, but there was some inconsistency in the registration process. This could be avoided by creating printed sheets of directions for all volunteers doing registration. Information was provided orally by official Pre-Conference organizers, but because last minute volunteers who had not been appropriately briefed ended up registering participants as well, accuracy diminished the more times non-organizers gave the directions. In addition, registration confusion highlighted the need to have one extremely well organized version of the database of participants, rather than a few different versions for different purposes (e.g. separate databases for each hotel). Having computer versions of the database available would also have simplified the registration process. During the Youth Pre-Conference days most of session rooms and Main Hall reached the maximum or its capacity and organizers had to be alert for all kind of requirements in order to avoid delays and go along the planning. The most common requests were: - AV equipment requirements on time for the session beginning and during it AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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Support material for presenters (markers, sheets, flipcharts) Presenters/speakers should deliver their presentation on time Make a double check with them in order to guarantee the right presentation as well as it’s complete and remains its format Assure that there were enough translation equipments for participants in each required session Assure that presenters/speakers be on time at session room as well as invite Youths to participate on it If there is wireless connection, to make sure it works

In order to guarantee an optimum planning towards session’s schedule and distribution in each room, it’s important to consider the session, presentation or workshop relevance as well as the language in which it will be spoken and finally compare it with the percentage of participants who speak only English, only Spanish or both of them. Besides, it’s crucial for staff to have a headquarters where important meetings, staff workshops and specific decisions could be taken place. In CCUT the Session Room 3 operated as the staff area and also for storage, nevertheless it’s better to take in count not to use headquarters for public sessions otherwise participants could get confused. For instance we had the visit of Ms. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid; UNFPA Executive Director and it was necessary a safe, comfortable and private place where she could met organizers and take a time for her presentation. Volunteers Due to the misunderstanding with the IAS logistics department the Pre-Conference only got 2 volunteers from the 15 we had asked for, nevertheless MYF members helped out as volunteers during the 3 days of the event. One subcommittee member served as the volunteer coordinator. She created a list of tasks for the rest of the subcommittee and liaised with volunteers. Volunteers came from a variety of sources. Additionally, personal contacts of the YouthForce staff and local subcommittee members were recruited to volunteer. While volunteers were generally reliable, there were some difficulties, because not everyone was able to attend the volunteer training held the day before the Pre-Conference. In retrospect, we should have held an additional training for Mexico YouthForce staff during the first day of the Pre-Conference in order to avoid confusion. Also, the volunteer coordinator had other responsibilities and was not always around to act as the liaison. In future years, the volunteer coordinator should not take on other responsibilities during the Pre-Conference. It would also be helpful if the volunteer coordinator spoke all the primary languages in use (in this case, both Spanish and English) in order to most effectively answer questions and direct volunteers from different countries. In addition, it would be helpful to have as many bilingual volunteers as possible. Volunteers assisted at registration, in creating and posting signs to identify session rooms, in getting participants into sessions and keeping time, in presenting gifts of recognition to presenters, in keeping things generally organized and clean, and in passing out and collecting evaluation forms. Challenges Participants filled out evaluation forms each day, which provided the subcommittee with a good quantity of data about the Pre-Conference. However, evaluations were quite detailed, and it proved somewhat complicated and time-consuming to log all the data. Future evaluations should be designed with an eye to subcommittee members’ capacity to process the information, as well as to what information is necessary to collect. Information on outcomes is certainly key, as is feedback on specific sessions, but it may be better for each session to receive just two simple ratings, on topic and on execution. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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We faced a series of challenges in ensuring equal and full participation by all, because participants were primarily either Spanish or English speakers. All registration forms and communication with potential participants and presenters were done in English or Spanish, depending on the participant’s preference. This was facilitated by the fact that Pre-Conference Subcommittee members included both English speakers and Spanish speakers, including several who spoke both languages. At the Pre-Conference itself, simultaneous translation and translation headsets, donated by UNICEF, enabled all participants to attend any session without regard to which language it was presented in. However, many handouts were only available in one language (usually English), and there were occasional problems with the translation services. Unfortunately, the translators’ HIV and AIDS vocabulary was not very good, which impacted effective translation. Still, with the limited resources available, the Pre-Conference was impressively bilingual. The role of being the point person in supporting presenters was taken on by subcommittee members for half-days throughout the Pre-Conference. The IAS program staff also assisted with this and were an invaluable help. The point person also served as time-keeper for sessions, which was difficult because they had to monitor multiple sessions at once and many presenters went over their allotted time. A clear method to remind presenters of the time limits and to cut them off if necessary would help keep the Pre-Conference running more smoothly in years to come, as some sessions ran over and caused scheduling difficulties later in the day. Each day two subcommittee members were in charge of the opening and closing sessions. These were largely used for logistical announcements and coordination. It worked well to rotate this responsibility, rather than to have subcommittee co-chairs take it on throughout the entire Pre-Conference. Subcommittee members took on other tasks as they arose, but defining these roles beforehand might have made tasks flow more smoothly.

9.6. Recommendations
Overall, the Mexico YouthForce Pre-Conference was a great success. However below there are several recommendations to strengthen the 2010 YouthForce Pre-Conference. Points for Improvement: • Simplify participant application and develop a web-based registration system, if possible. • Disseminate the information about the Pre-Conference as widely as possible in order to reach a range of youth. • Maintain one extremely organized version of the participant database. • Clarify on all materials that registration for the IAC is necessary in order to register for the Pre-Conference, but that registration for the IAC does not serve to register a participant for the Pre-Conference, and vice versa. Maintain ongoing communication with the IAS on which participants are in fact registered for the YouthForce Pre-Conference. • As many young people only receive funding for the IAC at the last minute, it is worth considering reserving some spaces to be filled in the month before the conference. • Eliminate the division between skills and knowledge based sessions. • Include more sessions on scientific topics by reaching out to youth researchers; plan for both basic and advanced science sessions. • Include sessions on more specific topics and sessions targeted at a more experienced audience. • As much as possible, prioritize sessions which are interactive and allow all participants to share their expertise; reach out to experienced contacts to invite them to present. • Create time and mechanisms for semi-structured discussion sessions during the PreConference. • Book housing as far in advance as possible. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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• • • Use a caterer with whom you have experience to ensure high-quality food and be sure there is adequate drinking water. Staff and volunteers doing registration should be extremely organized and should have access to electronic and printed versions of the participant database. Make a plan of how best to log evaluation data and simplify evaluation forms so as to collect only the most important information.

Successful Tactics • Invest time and energy in creating good working relationships among subcommittee members. When SC members have clear and specific tasks, they are much more likely to stay engaged. • Within the subcommittee, it is useful to break into subgroups that are each responsible for specific segments of the work. • Centralized email accounts for communication with participants enabled multiple people to respond to inquiries. • On the participant application, include a section where participants can indicate which topics they would like to see covered during the Pre-Conference. • Select presenters who are youth; ideally, many presenters should also be participants, and vice versa. • Do not schedule sessions during lunch, as an important part of the Pre-Conference is the connections built between participants. • Include an “action” element in the Pre-Conference, where participants can take handson action. In sum, the Mexico Youth Force Pre-Conference was judged a resounding success by participants, presenters, and organizers. Though there were areas for improvement, the PreConference built on the strengths of the Toronto YouthForce’s Pre-Conference to encompass more sessions, more participants, and new topics, as well as operating in two languages. In their evaluations, participants reported high levels of learning and spoke of how they felt more prepared for the International AIDS Conference. Again and again, they mentioned the important connections they had made with other young activists. These bonds, and the importance they gave to learning with and from empowered young people from all over the world, are key to building a strong movement of youth united against HIV.

10. Youth Reception
10.1. Introduction
The Reception Sub-committee aimed to organize the Youth Opening and Reception at the start of the International AIDS Conference 2008 in Mexico City. The event, held at the end of the youth pre-conference and start of the main conference, is a key part of the Mexico Youth Force strategy to highlight the need for youth leadership in the international AIDS agenda, as well as to celebrate the growing participation in International AIDS Conferences over the years. Event Objectives The reception aims to: − Celebrate the doubling of IAC youth attendance at every conference since 2002. − Showcase young people’s involvement and contributions to the HIV and AIDS field. − Hold governments and agencies accountable for commitments to youth through media exposure. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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Raise global awareness of youth involvement in HIV and AIDS initiatives through media exposure.

10.2 Brief
Through an evening of celebration, key note speakers, and entertainment (with Julieta, Venegas, DJ Velvet Boy, Celso Piña and Señora Kong), the Youth Opening and Reception set the tone for a positive and youth-friendly 2008 International AIDS Conference. Major Successes − Over 600 people, out of whom the majority were young people, RSVPed and more than 400 participated in the event − Julieta Venegas, a well-known Mexican singer, performed at the event − Over 100 media participated in the event, resulting in significant coverage − A great balance between the number of speakers, live bands, and DJ music − Great volunteer and security support during the evening of the reception − Sound check and rehearsals were key to making sure that everything ran smoothly and that there were not technical glitches − The event ran smoothly, with great coordination amongst staff, volunteers, performers, and others General Recommendations − The funding for the reception was significantly delayed as UNFPA, the main founder, was implementing a new programme to give grants which resulted in several months of delay. Also, there was a lack of clarity within the MYF on how much money could actually be used for the reception. These circumstances meant that the venue and performers could not be booked more than 2 months in advance, which left the subcommittee which little leeway to plan the direction of the reception. Given that it is essential for the reception subcommittee to be able to book a venue and outreach to performers with a clear budget several months in advance, we recommend that the next YouthForce use funds from a donor who can transfer them 6 months prior to the event. − Co-chairs and entire subcommittee faced significant constraints regarding what they could actually do, given the delay of funding but also the fact that neither were based in the city where the event would be held, and thus were unable to scout venues, liaise with local providers, etc. For 2010, we recommend that at least one, if not both, of the reception subcommittee co-chairs be based in Vienna, given the amount of ground work that is required. − The support of a local staff person from the Youth Programme, who is able to support the co-chairs but also able to sign contracts with vendors and others, is key to moving ahead with the planning of the event. We recommend that such a position begin at least 5 months prior to the reception. The Youth Reception was held in the Museo José Luis Cuevas (, located on Academia Street, No. 1 Centro. As some delegates were lodged Down Town, it was close to their hotels, and it also had the zocalo subway station two streets from it. It was a large open space venue, following the recommendations that came from the 2006 reception organizers.

10.4 Invitation and RSVP Process
Online invitation was sent to three different data bases: the first one contained every preconference delegate; the second one, some of the youth delegates only attending main conference and the third one, VIPs who received a personal invitation. This invitation had a link AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


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to R.S.V.P. online, so people could confirm their attendance and we could get an accurate idea of attendance. In addition, every pre-conference delegate had a printed invitation in their pre-conference bag. Invitations were personal; we first considered the idea of letting people invite someone to the reception, but one of the most important aims of the Youth Reception is networking, so having only people from the lists, helped to reach such an aim. − Attendance. On Saturday August 2nd, in the afternoon we already had over 600 confirmed attendees. We had a final attendance of about 450 people; that same day took place the First Homofobia and Stigma International March, right after the Pre-Conference closing, we think delegates were tired because of this so they did not attend even though they had confirmed their attendance. Lists • VIP list. As it was created by everyone at the subcommittee, everybody added/deleted names, and later on, it became quite difficult to know which one was the accurate list, and some contact information about the invitees was missing, so the process could not be completed. Later on, the subcommittee assigned this task to the same person who would be sending the invitations. • Pre-Conference delegates list. It was provided by the Pre-Conference subcommittee from delegates’ registration, so the information was accurate and complete. • Young people only attending Main Conference list. Invitation was only send to those young delegates who had been provided with a scholarship by the IAS, as it was the only list that the Youth Programme had access to. IAS Staff never provided this information. About the process • Sending invitations. The Reception Subcommittee assigned a subcommittee member to send invitations to the lists above and to every Youth Programme Subcommittee, so they could RSVP on time. She sent invitations following the lists and contact information provided by the subcommittees but some of the people never received the invitation. • RSVP on line. Through the platform that TIG created for delegates to RSVP, they could assure their attendance so the Reception Subcommittee printed the list in order to have registration tables at the Reception entrance. Unfortunately, some delegates could not use the link because of technical issues, so, as an emergency step, one of the subcommittee members took the initiative and started to register them at the PreConference lobby, which worked really well in the end. • Registration Tables. Were placed at the Reception entrance, we had 4 registration tables leaded by subcommittee members in charge of looking for people’s names and tagging them. Tables were located as it follows: Table 1 for VIPs Table 2 for Pre- Conference Delegates Table 3 for youth delegates attending only to Main Conference Table 4 Press (leaded by Burson & Marsteller)

Recommendations: − Having a format and re-checking e-mails before sending invitations. − Pre Conference Guests. The reception is really part of the pre conference these people should be automatically registered to attend. This means they receive a ticket when they register at the pre conference so no waiting at the door to locate their names or reminders for them to sign up to come. − It is a good idea to have a registration table at the Pre-Conference, for those who have not been able to register and/or print their invitation; still, delegates should not be informed until their arrival, so they follow the official process. − Other people and other youth. The online registration form should generate a page with a AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat 56

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unique ticket (i.e with the persons name or number) it can also email this to people if they loose it. People can also sign back into the registration page to reprint their ticket if they lost it. This way people just show their ticket to come in and the door process is faster. This will also give people some sort of confirmation item that they are registered and reduce email queries to the task force about that I would be easier to have, from the beginning a person in charge of the list and every change, addition, or deletion should be sent to her/him so s/he can have the most accurate one. Be sure you have a format that everyone follows. Having the same person compiling the lists and sending invitations is a good idea. To have a meaningful communication between Reception Subcommittee and Pre-Conference Subcommittee about delegates registered and attending ones. Ask for this information to people in charge of the registration process from the IAS Staff when the registration process starts, or even before. Specifically ask for delegates’ name, age and contact e-mail.

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10.5. Speakers
The reception planned for 4 speakers, aiming to have fewer speakers and more of a fun and relaxed environment than in 2006. One of the Subcommittee members agreed whit a local radio moderator, named Baxter that he would be the MC on the Youth Reception, never the less, he never showed up, this situation delayed the beginning of the event, and Ricardo Baruch, first speaker and local Youth Programme Coordinator, became also the MC of that night. Speeches: It was a fulfilled session that did not take too long so delegates did not get bored, and most important, it was meaningful and useful, ending with an inspirational speech. The agenda of the speeches was as it follows: Ricardo Baruch, Youth Programme Cordinator. Steve Kraus, Chief of the HIV and AIDS branch of the UNFPA, who was substituting Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director, confirmed in advanced but could not make it in the end. − Peter Piot UNAIDS Executive Director. − Thembi Mgubane, African Activist.
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Speeches were in English and only one of the speakers translated it to Spanish by himself, even though we had thought about having the speeches before the conference to translate them and project them on the stage screens in Spanish, we were not able of doing it in the end because of time lacking. Recommendations: − To have a local Youth Reception Officer (staff member); s/he should be in charge of looking for a venue, local providers and prices from earlier months. − S/he should have all the contact information of the MC, talent managers, and speakers’ assistants, as much as providers, in order to following up on requirements and be able to have all the material to project and deliver during the Reception.

10.6. Youth Reception Show
Aiming to accomplish all the objectives of the Reception, Subcommittee thought about having talent who support the cause, first, Subcommittee considered the idea of having local bands for the reception; but also wanted to have a talent who was a hook to press and attendance. AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
We had Julieta Venegas, a well-known Mexican singer, performing to help attracting the press coverage; afterwards Sra. Kong, VIH no es una Banda de Rock executive director, Mexican activist, cause promoter and one of the creators of the official song of the Conference “Acción Universal” came on the stage with her band; while their performing, Celso Piña, a well known tropical Mexican singer sang a couple of songs with Sra. Kong, this helped press to stay longer, and know more about the youth response to the pandemic. We also had DJ Velvet Boy, also a Mexican activist, playing and giving atmosphere to the evening.

10.7. Logistics
− Providers. Every provider was contacted at the host city, except for security service. They were all aware about the aims, objective and propose of the event, following the recommendation from Toronto 2006 Setting up. Started on Thursday afternoon, providers arrived on time, even though we had a schedule, setting up delayed 2 and a half hour because of a museum’s inconvenient.14 At the setting up schedule members of the subcommittee were invited to be around for help and support, never the less, their activities at Main Conference also demanded their presence, so it was until Saturday afternoon that they were able to be around helping on the preparation. Furniture. We had 70 tables, no chairs, 6 lounge living rooms, rigging and 2 bars, 2 meters each. Sound check. It had been arranged two weeks before directly with talent, again the setting up delay affected this times. Transportation. We provided transportation from the zocalo subway station to Museo Jose Luis Cuevas from 8:45 to 9:45 so every delegate attending did not get lost on the way. And, as subway service stops at 12:00 am, we asked to have cab service in front of the museum from 10:30 so people could have a secure transportation to their hotels. Also had vans for the pre-conference delegates to take them to their hotels from 10:00 pm that were paid from our budget. Volunteers. 15 volunteers were provided by the IAS for the Reception, even though it was enough staff to accomplish the reception tasks, they arrived 2 hours before the event started, so we had to brief them at that time and let them know their tasks, volunteers were efficient and disposed to work, so they ended up being really helpful. Run down. The speeches session delayed 45 minutes from the official run down because the MC did not show up, so it delayed all the activities, except from the bar opening. Food was served until the Julieta Venegas’ show was done, in order to entertain people on the setting up for the next show, as long as the DJ was playing.15 Security. The museum provided, as included service, two security people, but we hired 5 extra elements, experienced in events, to assure the security of the vulnerable areas, as they were: the backstage two accesses, the entrance of the venue, talent dressing rooms, and one upstairs. Each security guy was helped by one or two volunteers. On the other hand, we had outside security provided by the government, arranged by the museum, meaning this was also a service provided by the venue, which was really helpful. Ambulances. As it was an event of more than 100 people we hired two ambulances, also experienced in events, it should be two because, in case that one of them had to transport someone, there should stay the other one in service. We had medical service inside, also provided by the ambulances to cover first aids service. Fortunately, we did not use the ambulance service, but you never know what can happen, so it is better to be prepared.

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14 Please see the attached: Setting up schedule 15 Please see the attached: Reception Run down AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
− Tearing down Music stopped at 12:50 am, tearing down finished at 3 am and the place was completely empty at 4:00 am.

Recommendations: − Logistics imply a lot of physical work, as it demands being awake for continuous hours, and it is too much for only one person, so agree amongst subcommittee about the times that someone is required to be at the venue and be sure it is possible for the subcommittee members; if it is not, the local Staff member should ask for a volunteer to assist her/him during the setting up-tearing down time. − Be sure to have all technical specifications from talent and to have your technical provider aware of them, in order to have the fewer last-minute requirements. − Pre-Conference Delegates should be transported from their hotels to the Reception Venue, we thought about that but it was quite expensive, never the less, it should be done.

11. Overall Youth Programme Major Challenges and Recommendations
Decision Making
The lack of a young person in the Conference Coordinating Committee is still a problem in terms of the meaningful involvement of young people in the overall decision making for the Conference. There is no doubt that many allies have been very helpful in the past but it is necessary to keep and increase the youth participation in the different committees including community, leadership and science. The inactivity of the Working Group would have been a big issue if the MYF people wouldn’t have been available all the time to help with the design and implementation of the Youth Programme. Members of the Youth Force should be taken into account when the official youth group is created because of the experience, the diversity and the importance of having many youth organizations involved in a very democratic way. To give an example, the organizations that had a very strong interest on getting involved with the youth programme were very well included in the Mexico Youth Force to bring up the issues of young people living with HIV and harm reduction (Hope’s Voice and Youth AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat



AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
R.I.S.E.), otherwise their voices would may have need a close contact with one of the working group members who may had never represent those issues very well. The cross-representation in the working groups was completely useless at least for the Youth Programme due to the lack of activity of the members of the other 2 working groups in our group and the inactivity of our members in the other groups. If the structures continue as they are now there is a need to make sure that the people crossrepresenting have a real interest in the other groups. Otherwise, it may be better to have a young person in the GVWG or an artist in the youth group in order to give strength to the inclusion of diverse issues. There were several young activists interested on helping out to the conceptualization and implementation of the youth programme activities. Through the creation of the Mexico YouthForce subcommittees many of them got a space to give their ideas and inputs which created a very rich process even though the workload was certainly bigger than moderating only the YWG, nevertheless it was worth it and this is something recommended in the future.


Several activities and documents were delayed because of the strict revision of all the public files of the youth programme. More flexibility and trust in the staff is needed in order to give more time to people to get informed, fill up applications and get ready for the upcoming activities. Several times we wanted to use youth friendly language or Mexican slang in materials, the newsletter or e-mails in order to attract more ‘common’ people and not only activists but we were unable to do that due to the language barrier and strictness of the communications department. It is necessary to recognize that not all the people coming to the Conference or the Global Village can understand HIV or scientific language. The need to have a local person in charge of checking the documents is crucial too. The existence of a youth specific website was really important to benefit young delegates with information and opportunities. The freedom to upload contents was a key element to have everything on time and, the permanent direct communication with the website developers was fundamental for its success. Specific youth outreach is needed in order to involve local audiences. The fact that all the outreach was for the Conference in general was a huge challenge to attract specific groups such as young people. The MYF with Burson and Marsteller created some ways to call the attention of the media to youth issues but youth weren’t necessarily reached through the outreach programme. The flexibility that programme activities should have in order to involve more people in the activities is very important regardless of the general Conference outreach activities.


Even though the need for youth-specific volunteers was expressed very early in the process (January 2008) until the last minute the youth programme staff did not know how many volunteers would be available for the activities. For example: half of the volunteers in charge of the Youth Reception needed to leave at 7:00pm even though the reception was going to start at 8:00pm; Of the 10 volunteers sent for the Youth PreConference 8 were not available to help on the dates of the event (July31 - August 2);

AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
It is necessary that volunteer coordinators have a better communication and disposition with the Programme Activities staff. The Youth Pavilion along with the whole Global Village was treated as a second class priority for the logistics department even though the Conference Director said that Programme Activities were as important as the Conference. The acknowledgment of this situation from the beginning would help to make life easier for programme activities and youth especially. Due to the overload of the logistics department staff in Mexico, they were barely present at the local meetings and therefore many miscommunication problems arose, including the fact that 1 week before the Conference the Youth Pavilion didn’t have any walls because they thought that the youth programme would take care of that. It is important that even though programme and logistics are not necessarily working very closely all the time there should be a continuous dialogue to avoid any confusion.


The expenses were quite easy to manage when the payments have to be made in Mexico. It is important that the money is available in the local office to make the everyday expenditures. A couple of problems with the delay of the transfer from Geneva arose after the Conference but we think it is important to have a clear idea of what should be paid from the local office and what from headquarters. The cultural programme did not have enough money to accomplish all the activities planned so part of the money for the youth programme was used to bring more participants of the cultural programme. Even though most of them were young people we think the cultural programme should have a stronger support since is essential to the Global Village and local people.


Having a clear idea on how much money the youth programme had was very helpful. The fact that YP staff did not wait for further instructions to start with the financial was very useful to have a better idea of what could be done with the money in terms of how many people we could support, how many materials we could print, etcetera. The flexibility on the use of the money was very important to fulfill all the needs of the youth programme, especially all the expenses that arose during the last couple of months prior to the Conference. It is important to let the YWG and the MYF to decide what is most important in order to have a good budget planning.


Relations with the local and federal governments
A Committee for Youth and Cultural activities was established within the Mexican federal government structure for the Conference but it was not useful at all since all the activities of the committee began at the beginning of the year when the governmental institutions already have their budget for the rest of the year and cannot implement or support activities that were not planned many months before. The communication with the local government, at least for the youth programme, was inexistent due to the unavailability of the Youth Minister of the City. We believe that the fact that people –not even in the government- did not have an idea about the


AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat


AIDS 2008 Mexico City – Youth Programme Post-Conference Report
importance of the Conference made the governments to care much less than they should. A good personal relationship of the YP staff with people in the government and important civil society organizations allowed the programme to have better opportunities for advocacy and dialogue but anyways is always good to establish as many relationships as possible with local stakeholders to get support for the youth programme.

Youth Pavilion
The Youth Pavilion was more than 125 square meters at AIDS 2006 Toronto. Space permitting, the Youth Pavilion should be at least twice this size at AIDS 2008 Mexico City. Especially during performances, plays and music, the Youth Pavilion was filled to capacity and people were overflowing into the aisles. Youth need more space to vocalize their ideas and carry out their successful programming. Fundraising and budget planning for the Youth Programme and for conference venue management should reflect and support this need. Staff responsible for the Youth Pavilion should be solely responsible for this aspect of the Youth Programme. A stage manager should be hired and in place at least one month before the Conference to coordinate the events and sessions. A great deal of time is required to coordinate the large number of activities that happen at the Youth Pavilion. This function is at least a full-time job for six months and requires the assistance of a stage manager to coordinate the actual events that will take place in the Pavilion. Plan the space/schedule BEFORE accepting applications, before reviewing and accept applications, determine exactly how much space and how many resources, including space, are available in order to know how many of each type of activity application can be accepted. For example, accepting eight photo displays while having only space for three, will create problems. Ensure the messages and communications during the application process are clear. Make sure to mention that not every aspect of an application will necessarily be accepted. It is important to be clear on what part of which application has and has not been accepted so that groups do not think they are doing much more or much less than organizers think they will be doing. The amount of time requested for each activity may not be given; ensure communications are clear on how much time has been allotted for each activity.




AIDS 2008 – Youth Programme Report – Draft – September 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference – AIDS 2008 Conference Local Secretariat