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Guttmacher at AIDS 2006

August 7, 2006

Join the Guttmacher Institute at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto

From August 13–18, more than 20,000 advocates, scientists, policymakers, journalists and health care providers from around the world will meet in Toronto, Canada, for the XVI International AIDS Conference to discuss the latest research, technology, policy and funding advancements in the fight against AIDS.

As part of the biennial meeting, the Guttmacher Institute will:

Release groundbreaking new evidence on young people and HIV prevention. The Institute partnered with nine African institutions in a project called Protecting the Next Generation: Understanding HIV Risk Among Youth. Together, we asked more than 20,000 adolescents in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda to describe their lives, worries, sources of information about sexual and reproductive health, and sources of health services.

The first fruits of this inquiry—including never-before collected information about the lives of very young adolescents—will be released at the conference in the form of

  • comprehensive reports on focus group discussions with young people in all four counties;
  • nationally representative surveys of adolescents in each country; and
  • compelling analysis from in-depth interviews in which young people describe some of the specific barriers they face in accessing the best possible information, counseling and treatment.

These stories will be highlighted in a special package of information that includes hard numbers, personal quotes and expert on prevention efforts geared at young people and the specific needs of boys, orphans, rural adolescents and young married women.

In addition, Guttmacher will present five poster sessions based on this new evidence, a related project on HIV-positive women in Uganda, and the Institute’s strategies for putting its research findings into action (see details below).

Release a new tool for journalists. As part of our mission to promote evidence-based policies and programs and to put sound science into action, the Guttmacher Institute will release in Toronto the issue brief “Interpreting Research Studies.” This four-page document spells out 12 key questions to ask when approaching a new study and aims to make even the most number-heavy and complicated social science reports accessible to all those using evidence in their work.

Release a new resource on STIs. “Facts on Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States” compiles all of the most recent national data on the incidence and prevalence of the most common STIs. This fact sheet includes sections on youth, disparities by race and by gender, the challenges of measuring STIs, and prevention and treatment options.

Host a trivia game on sex, youth and HIV. Join us at the Youth Pavilion of the Global Village on Thursday, August 17, at 15:45 to test your knowledge of young people’s sexual and reproductive health around the world with this interactive trivia game. Win fun prizes!!

Host an official exhibition booth for the duration of the main conference. For more great resources from the Guttmacher Institute—including an interactive CD-ROM offering the latest Guttmacher evidence on youth and HIV worldwide, tips on getting published in a peer-reviewed journal and the latest issues of International Family Planning Perspectives—stop by our display at the main exhibition hall, booth 436 in Area E.

Take part in the <http://caucus.hiv-prevention.org/default.aspx>Caucus for Evidence-Based Prevention, a coalition of U.S.-based organizations that promote HIV prevention efforts supported by sound science, report on HIV prevention-related proceedings to a wide audience and alert the community when ideology, prejudice or opinion interfere with evidenced-based approaches to reducing the further spread of HIV/AIDS.

Participate in a preconference for young people organized by the Toronto YouthForce. The Guttmacher Institute is sponsoring four young leaders from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda to attend the preconference from August 9–12, where they will attend skills-building sessions on approaching decision makers with youth concerns during the main event. As part of the pre-conference, Melanie Croce-Galis and Leila Darabi of the Institute will lead a communications and media skills-building session on using social science research to build sound and compelling advocacy messages.

Blog the events as they take place. The four Guttmacher-sponsored youth leaders—Joyce Laryea of Ghana, Idriss “Fimba” Tankaono of Burkina Faso, Thembi Thadzi of Malawi and Patricia Nansamba Wamala of Uganda—will post updates on their experiences at the conference and reflections on how it relates to their lives in their own countries. Follow their experiences at RH Reality Check.

The Guttmacher Institute invites you to stop by for presentations by our experts at the Poster Exhibition area, Level 800, South Building of Metro Toronto Convention Centre:

On Tuesday, August 15, 12:30– 14:00, Ann Biddlecom of the Institute will present “Condom Use and Consistency of Use Among Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa,” which shows that while young people are doing a good job of using condoms consistently to prevent HIV and unintended pregnancy, substantial room for improvement remains. New evidence from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda may be useful to decision makers in designing new policies and programs targeting young people. Abstract Number: TUPE0379

Also on Tuesday, 12:30–14:00, Ann M. Moore of the Institute will present “Childbearing Experiences Among HIV-Positive Women in Kampala, Uganda: Results from a Qualitative Study,” which examines the reproductive health needs of HIV-positive women including HIV transmission and unintended pregnancy prevention. Abstract Number: TUPE0798

On Wednesday, August 16, 12:30–14:00, Dr. Biddlecom will present “HIV Knowledge, Sexual Activity and Information Sources for Very Young Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa,” which takes a pioneering look at the knowledge and behavior of 12–14-year-olds and concludes that given the high level of school enrollment, these very young adolescents could be targeted earlier with prevention education to help them protect themselves from HIV and unintended pregnancy later in adolescence. Abstract Number: WEPE0669

Also on Wednesday, August 16, 12:30–14:00, Dr. Moore will present “Coercive Sex Among Adolescent Females in Sub-Saharan Africa: Prevalence and Context,” which shows that the proportion of young women who are “not willing at all” the first time they have sex is 15% in Burkina Faso, 24% in Uganda, 30% in Ghana and 38% in Malawi. Thus, nonconsensual sex must be put on the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda as part of the process of protecting the next generation. Abstract Number: WEPE0749

On Thursday, August 17, 12:30–14:00, Melanie Croce-Galis of the Institute will present “Research in Action: Engaging Stakeholders in Adolescent Health,” an overview of the Institute’s strategy for promoting evidence-based policies and programs by getting sound science into the hands of decision makers. Abstract Number: THPE0949

 

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