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The Global Village exhibition is now closed; however, please browse the rest of the content (sessions, film screenings, art exhibits, cultural performances and more) from the Global Village and Youth Programme.

See you at AIDS 2022!

The San Francisco and Oakland Youth Force represents youth perspectives during AIDS 2020.

Young people will play an active role in all aspects of the conference. We will not only be delegates, but will also be activity organizers, speakers, leaders and peers.

We aim to be the driving force behind an inclusive and meaningful youth programme that will represent young voices from around the world. As part of the Global Village, youth gets to set its own programming, which demonstrates the work and struggles of young people worldwide.

Our mission: To structurally destigmatize HIV & AIDS and contribute to the prevention of new infections by empowering young people. We aim to do so by mobilizing young people, strengthening youth voices and providing young people with opportunities for active participation so that the youth perspective cannot be ignored.

Youth Force

San Francisco and Oakland Youth Force (SFOYF) working groups

Lauren Parmley
Local Co-Chair
Advocacy Working Group
Read Lauren's bio
Lauren is a Strategic Information Specialist at ICAP at Columbia University who provides technical support on projects funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She currently oversees biobehavioural surveillance surveys to estimate HIV/STI prevalence among men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and people who inject drugs in Zimbabwe and Zambia and supports HIV case-based surveillance and program monitoring and evaluation of HIV service delivery sites.

Advocacy Working Group

  • Ensure that key objectives for the SFOYF are met.
  • Produce advocacy tools and campaigns as preparation for the AIDS 2020 Global Village and Youth Programme
Lucca Munnik
International Co-chair
Communications working group
Read Lucca's bio
Lucca is a recent Social Development Honours graduate and program director for Periods For Hope, a South African NPO that runs SRHR programs to underprivileged schoolgirls and boys. Her experience includes conducting secondary HIV & AIDS research and support for international grant writing, client annual reports and baseline surveys. Lucca also enjoys freelance writing and aspires to specialize in community-based healthcare.

Communications Working Group

  • Work with the IAS Communications team to ensure that messaging is consistent with AIDS 2020, maintaining the theme of Resilience
  • Manage and develop content for the SFOYF website and all social media channels (for example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  • Review all publications and materials produced by SFOYF to ensure use of sensitive language and proper grammar.
Aron Thiim
Local Co-Chair
Global Village Programmes working group
Read Aron's bio
Aron Thiim is a mission-driven public health professional and social justice advocate currently working as a Program Manager for HIV/STI Prevention & Testing at the Justice Resource Institute (JRI) in MetroWest Boston. Aron’s areas of expertise include substance use disorders, sexual and gender minority health, incarceration and chronic homelessness. He also plans to pursue a clinical career in community-oriented primary care to develop sustainable interventions in under-resourced settings.

Global Village Programming Working Group

  • Mentor young people interested in submitting applications for the Global Village and Youth Programme, including the Youth Positive Lounge and Youth Village.
  • Develop a programme for the Youth Village and work with the AIDS 2020 Secretariat to execute it.
  • Plan and coordinate accepted activities and booths for the Global Village and Youth Programme.
Ali Ihsan Nergiz
International Co-Chair
Pre-Conference working group
Read Ali's bio
Ali is a 5th-grade medical student at Istanbul University and Turkey Country Coordinator of International Youth Alliance for Family Planning. He has volunteered for both IAS2019 and AIDS2018 and is currently working in a local NGO as a project assistant on comprehensive sexuality education.
Cosima Lenz
Local Co-Chair
Pre-Conference working group
Read Cosima's bio
Cosima is an Associate Technical Officer supporting child, adolescent, and youth programs at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in Washington D.C. Her focal technical areas are adolescents, youth, and gender-based violence. Cosima also coordinates the Committee of African Youth Advisors (CAYA) and has supported youth activities in Guatemala and South Africa, as well as mystery client research with WHO. She has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Youth Pre-Conference Working Group

  • Plan and coordinate activities and sessions for the youth pre-conference.

The Latest

Stories of resilience

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Noah Junior’s Story

By Noah Junior Tiago When telling my story, I always start from the beginning. I am an orphan who lost both parents due to HIV/AIDS. My Mother left both my brother (who is HIV negative) and me. After my father passed away in 2005, my brother…
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Tanya’s Call to Action

By Tanyaradzwa K. Vinho I am a young man from Zimbabwe who plays an active role in bringing youth voices and perspectives to the global fight against HIV/AIDS in my respective country and community. I was selected as one of two members…
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Ismail’s Story

By Ismail Harerimana   Eleven years ago, I discovered that I was HIV positive after I was disclosed to by one of my fellow adolescents. I had thought I was taking medication for my kidneys because that is what my parents had told…
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The Stories of Young Resilient Women

By Tambudzai Muzenda While working with youth in the SRHR and HIV/AIDS sector, I have realized that most youth or adolescents either affected or living with HIV/AIDS share a rich bond that is not often considered in the HIV community response.…
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The Truth about Living with HIV

By Adelaide Hamese I grew up in a country where if you are living with HIV/AIDS, you are considered to be dying. It is a country where PLHIV don’t disclose their status in fear of being the laughingstock of the community and where they…
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Precious’ Story

By Precious Kaniki I found out that I was HIV positive twelve years ago and back then, it felt as if all my dreams were shattered. The only thing that came to my mind was to commit suicide which I almost managed to do by not taking my ARVs…
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Her Story

By Helen Lonn Pain, frustration and uncertainty sank deep into Josephine’s bones the day she was declared HIV positive. Her pain could not be explained merely by words. In that moment, she lost the true meaning to life – her personality,…
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Amit’s Story

By Amit Mohite My positive status is just a part of my identity – I am much more than that.  I was seven when my parents died in a car accident. I lost everything that night – not only my parents but also my school, my friends,…
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Stories of resilience

What is the Stories Of Resilience campaign ? Download the document to find out more

The change narratives


The Dangerous Comorbidity: how should WLWH and mental illness be assisted?

By Lucca Munnik In 2018, there were 18.8 million women living with HIV (WLWH)[1] with many of them facing issues of mental health, gender-based violence, SRHR, and human rights. Despite evidence suggesting mental health plays a large role…

The Role of Social Media in the Fight against HIV & AIDS

The Role of Social Media in the Fight against HIV & AIDS   By Gift Banda   On the 28th of January 2011, the former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, shut off the Internet across the entire country. This unprecedented blackout…

HIV Disclosure: Benefits, Challenges and Behaviors

By Austin Okumu There continues to be various issues associated with HIV & AIDS that need to be explored in-depth. One of these issues concerns HIV disclosure, which refers to when someone living with HIV tells another person their…

The Psychological Impact of HIV

By Rosa Tariro Mahlasera When one is tested positive for HIV, one can think that the whole world has ended and that there is no hope for the future, whilst others see it as stepping stone to a better life. It is true that with the correct…

Submit your story of resilience

What is the stories of resilience campaign?

Stories of Resilience (SOR) is a social media campaign run by SFOYF that shares visual and written stories reflecting on moments young communities responding to HIV felt they were resilient during the HIV response. It also specifically looks at HIV-related stigma and how youth have overcome it.

Who can submit to the campaign?

Communities include but are not limited to:

  • Young researchers and scientists
  • Medical students
  • Young people living with HIV
  • Youth organizations

What are the submission guidelines?

  • Written stories: any type of writing (i.e. poetry, fiction, non-fiction) that is not less than 300 words.
  • Visual stories: videos need to be less than 2-minutes in length.
  • General:content needs to be related to general themes of; youth, resilience and HIV & AIDS.

How do I submit?

You submit by completing this form:

Submissions close: 15 June 2020

Where are the submissions published?

Videos are posted on Instagram and written stories will be published on the SOR blog. These submissions may also feature during SFOYF activities at AIDS 2020 and during the Open-Mic Session at the Youth Pre-Conference.

Youth Force at AIDS 2018