All in! is not owned by UN agencies. All In! is for all!
Musah Lumumba El-Nasoor and Craig McClure participated in the strategy consultation meeting on the All In! agenda to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents, held on December 3-5, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. How do they see the All In! Initiative?
Why is the All In! Initiative important to you?
Musah: "Personally, I have been diagnosed during adolescence to be living with HIV. Reflecting on the challenges I went through, I feel responsible to make sure that my young ones the adolescents access not only HIV treatment, but also other essential support like nutrition, mental health care, adherence support especially at household level.
The All In! Initiative plays an important role in positioning and meeting the needs of adolescents -especially those from key populations- in national AIDS and health plans."
Craig: "I have been working in the area of HIV for 25 years. I started as a young activist, very motivated to do something as it was a young persons’ disease. Now it seems, after all the progress in the last years, that adolescents are the only age group where AIDS-related deaths continue to increase. And countries struggle to provide effective prevention and treatment programmes for this population being left behind."
What can the AIDS movement expect from All In!?
Musah: "The AIDS movement can expect more collaboration between UN agencies, youth and civil society. Country AIDS strategic plans that have adolescents at the centre but also resources directed to interventions that are proved to work for and by young people in 25 All In! target countries including my own country Uganda."
Craig: "We need to ensure that young people are in the centre of this effort and meaningfully engaged All In! is not be owned by UN agencies. All In! is for all!"
What policy change do you hope to see in, let's say, two years?
Craig: "The “All In!” effort will be global, but with a particular focus on 25 lead countries where the vast majority of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths among adolescents occur. In the next two years I expect that at least these 25 countries have clear plans that target the right adolescents that are most at risk with the right package of interventions in the right places."
Musah: "The aim is that 90% of adolescents know their HIV status and have access to treatment. So I hope, or better, I expect to see a change in consent laws to at least 12 years as per the current WHO adolescent HTC and care guidelines. This would lead to increased access and utilisation of existing HIV services among adolescents."
Craig McClure is Chief of HIV/AIDS section at UNICEF New York’s headquarters
Musah Lumumba El-Nasoor is co-chair of the SRHR working group of the Y+ leadership and team leader for the Uganda Youth Coalition on Adolescent SRHR and HIV/AIDS