HIV/AIDS: UN tasks young people on strategy through social media

New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has urged young people to create and shape the new UN strategy on youth and HIV/AIDS through an online collaborative project launched Tuesday.

The project, tagged: CrowdOutAIDS.org, will use several social media platforms to facilitate the development of new policies to combat the pandemic.

PANA learnt that the UNAIDS' initiative would run for a period of two months, in which anyone aged 15 to 29 would be able to submit and share their ideas and proposals for the strategy.

Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, who spoke at the launching in New York, said: "The initiative’s name alludes to the popular concept of crowd sourcing, which consists of letting large undefined groups of people collaborate and come up with innovative solutions for tasks traditionally performed by individuals."

Sidibe said that, "we are asking youth around the world to debate, draft and work with UNAIDS to implement this new strategy.

"It is absolutely critical that we engage young people – not as recipients of our message but as the actors and creators of change,'' he noted.

He also disclosed that, "CrowdOutAIDS.org will use a four-step model of collaboration, which will allow participants to use a range of social media platforms to connect, share and collaborate on a new strategy that speaks to them and addresses the key issues they face when it comes to HIV/AIDS."

PANA also reported that participants would be able to use their personal social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and personal blogs, to spread the word about the project and then discuss their ideas through online forums and other collaborative platforms, such as Google Docs.

They will also be able to shape the new strategy and see it transform from an initial draft to completion through a wiki-platform, which allows users to add and edit content in a collaborative way.

An information leaflet on the project stated that, "around 3,000 young people aged 15 to 24 become infected with HIV on a daily basis, making their involvement essential for an effective response to the epidemic."

It quoted Jennifer Ehidiamen, a blogger and journalist from Nigeria and online content
curator for the project’s website, as saying that, "it is important to involve young people in policy development in order for our views, expectations and aspirations to be fully represented."

Ehidiamen also added that, "CrowdOutAIDS.org is an innovative way to build a strong
community, interested in sharing solution-based ideas and actions on AIDS."
-0- PANA AA/BOS 25Oct2011

25 october 2011 17:20:57




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