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Malawi to Launch HIV-Positive Youths' Association

April 25, 2014

This article was reported by Nyasa Times.

Nyasa Times reported that Malawi will team with private organizations to officially launch the National Association of Young People Living with HIV (YPLHIV) on May 2, with the theme "Making the Three Zeros Work for Young People Living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi." President Joyce Banda, the minister responsible for people with HIV and AIDS, will officiate at the ceremony. Malawi formed YPLHIV in response to Banda's directive at the first meeting of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS and Lancet Commission held in Lilongwe June 28-29, 2013.

According to David Nyirenda, representative for HIV-positive Malawian youth, the association would provide a formal platform for young HIV-positive Malawians to discuss the challenges they face and receive needed support. Nyirenda listed some of the challenges, including lack of meaningful involvement in decisionmaking, developmental activities, and lack of educational support. He focused on the problem of stigma and discrimination that HIV-positive youth experience with families, community members, and friends who ostracize them when they learn of the diagnosis.

Another challenge for HIV-positive youth is the lack of proper nutritional support. Good nutrition is necessary to boost the HIV-positive individual's immunity. Marriam Mangoich, director of HIV and AIDS in the Department of Nutrition HIV and AIDS, promised government assistance in collaboration with relevant organizations for the youths' welfare. Nyirenda pledged support and vowed to work with all concerned groups to reach out to as many youth as possible. Six representatives of HIV-positive Malawian youth from each district in the country will attend the launch.

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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