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The Vienna YouthForce Pre-Conference Begins

VIENNA, AUSTRIA — Today the Vienna YouthForce begins its three-day pre-conference, an event open to young people attending the18th International AIDS Conference. The pre-conference will consist of informative sessions and skills-building workshops on HIV and AIDS issues ranging from scientific knowledge to effective political advocacy.

The pre-conference is bringing together more than 300 young activists and researchers from 100 different countries to prepare youth delegates to be effective advocates on issues that affect them. All the activities are organized in partnership with other activists and organizations who voluntarily participate on various different committees.

Every two years, tens of thousands of experts, advocates and decision makers gather for the international AIDS conference, the largest health-related event in the world. With each conference, young people, who have so much at stake in addressing this issue, have been playing an increasingly large role in the proceedings.

As part of its mandate to work on issues of young people and HIV and its commitment to promoting meaningful international youth participation events, UNFPA is supporting the YouthForce, as it has for the last three conferences (Bangkok 2004, Toronto 2006 and Mexico 2008).

The overall theme for the conference is Rights Here! Right Now. The advocacy campaign of the Vienna YouthForce focuses on the 3 HRs: Human Rights, Harm Reduction and Health Resources.