Be enticed! Sneak a peek at the GVYP

The Global Village and Youth Programme is back and ready to see you up close and personal at AIDS 2022 in Montreal! The never-boring programme promises to be as evidence-based as ever and even more stimulating than before.

Get your air guitar ready to jam with Canada’s first openly HIV-positive rock band. Come and sing your heart out alongside Southern Time Band. Band lead Timothy Bartsch tells us he “hopes the performance will destigmatize HIV-positive and disabled people”. Sharing their personal stories between songs, the members of the band will showcase how people living with HIV and disabilities have full, happy, productive and healthy lives.

Always a vibrant kaleidoscope of global talent and leadership, the Global Village is a dynamic gathering place where communities from around the world meet to share their experiences and spotlight how the application of science translates into community action and intervention.

One of the networking zones planned for AIDS 2022 is “The power of community partnerships: Sharing lessons from successful community engagement in global and national policy and implementation to drive sustainable change”. It perfectly illustrates how the Global Village empowers delegates and the public to become change makers in the HIV response. Kenly Sikwese, the Executive Director at the AfroCAB Treatment Access Partnership, hopes to create a space that “challenges stakeholders to create robust and meaningful community participation in their programmes and dedicate the necessary financial and technical support to empower communities in these roles”.

A blend of many different types of activities from speaker sessions to marketplace booths, this year’s Global Village boasts some incredibly stimulating live performances, art exhibits, films and exhibitions.

Ugandan Nubu Nabulumba, working with ALIGHT on a performed art initiative, promises to deliver a memorable show teaching the audience to produce handmade reusable sanitary and menstrual hygiene products using locally available raw materials. Nubu is excited to perform at AIDS 2022 and hopes that her “performance empowers girls with life skills and new confidence”. The Global Village is an instrumental opportunity to “learn more about community-led approaches that can be adapted and duplicated in other regions, as well as network with people from this field who can be mentors and a source of continuous support”.

As always, the Global Village programme is created from hundreds of applications submitted by a wide range of individuals, groups and organizations. While you may be dazzled by the creativity, each Global Village activity is put through a rigorous review process to ensure that the evidence-based programme drives progress in the HIV response. But who said it couldn’t be fun?!

Here are some of the exciting activities you will find this year:

  • Pitch perfect: Young leaders take the mic to showcase youth-led innovation #YouthCoLab
    Seven teams of young leaders have the chance to pitch their projects, which address the specific needs of young people living with and affected by HIV. The teams will receive feedback from a panel of four experts, shark-tank style. Seed grants of USD 10,000 will be awarded to stand-out pitches.
  • Black, Indigenous & people of color youth talk HIV, sexual & mental health
    The National Indigenous Youth Council on Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS will present a documentary film interviewing Black, Indigenous and people of color youth on themes of HIV and sexual and mental health. Guided by questions, the film sparks anecdotes and stories of strength and weaves together the common threads of the collective experiences of historically marginalized peoples.
  • CHIVA’s Positively Spoken oral history recording booth
    Launched in the UK in 2021, Positively Spoken brings to life the extraordinary stories of young people growing up with HIV. Dropping a recording booth into the Global Village, teams of academically trained peer interviewers will conduct oral history interviews with participants, capturing their heritages. With participant permission, these oral histories will be turned into a short podcast series following AIDS 2022.
  • The silver zone: A Global Village networking zone for older people living with HIV
    Many older adults living with HIV and HIV long-term survivors are coping with age-related co-morbidities and loss. Following the science on HIV and ageing, the silver zone will be where older people living with HIV can socialize, increasing their visibility and social capital. Participants will also mobilize to increase awareness, strengthen health literacy and expand the capacity for self and community care among older people living with HIV.
  • Sex worker focused is not sex worker led: Understanding sex worker leadership in HIV and AIDS policy
    A 2014 Lancet article confirmed, “decriminalisation of sex work would have the greatest effect on the course of HIV epidemics across all settings, averting 33–46% of HIV infections in the next decade”. The panel in this session will explore how to achieve long-term responsive HIV policy in different countries through sex worker leadership in policy and research, as well as provide attendees with strategies for successfully and effectively funding sex worker-led programming.

A glorious mélange of lively programming, this year’s Global Village will leave participants with practical skills that they can take home to create change in their communities.

Alex Garner, Director of Community Engagement at MPACT, is excited that this year, “MPACT is partnering with a diverse group of queer social media influencers from around the globe and will create a Queer Networking Zone and Lounge to engage and train participants around how to advance queer and HIV issues and amplify the voices of community members”.

We look forward to seeing you at the AIDS 2022 Global Village where you will make invaluable connections, strengthen your expertise and kick back in a space where everyone truly belongs and where you can just have fun! Did we mention that it’s free?

Always a vibrant kaleidoscope of global talent and leadership, the Global Village is a dynamic gathering place where communities from around the world meet to share their experiences and spotlight how the application of science translates into community action and intervention.