[:en]Young people remain at the forefront of the AIDS response across Eastern and Southern Africa. Although they are vulnerable to infection, they also have the opportunity to change the discourse of HIV/AIDS prevalence forever. In order for this to happen, comprehensive knowledge in how to prevent it is key. Last week, UNESCO, with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), reviewed the second year of progress in a project seeking to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention in eight countries: Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda Zambia, South Sudan and Namibia.

UNESCO, Sida, Mozambique government officials and other key stakeholders gathered in Maputo, Mozambique to present progress and discuss critical next steps in ensuring that all young people have access to critical information and sexual and reproductive health services.

In Eastern and Southern Africa, research has shown that 60 per cent of young people still lack the basic knowledge to prevent HIV due to their limited access to sexuality education. 430,000 new HIV infections are contracted among young people (age 15-24) each year and health services are often withheld from young people because of their age, marital or legal status.

The three-year project is expected to reach 35,000 schools, 74,000 teachers and 15 million learners across the region by December 2015. Focusing on building the capacity of education and health sectors, the project helps build political commitment, strengthen the quality and implementation of sexuality education curricula and improves community engagement in young people’s access to sexuality education and health services.

So far, the project has seen positive results, having already trained over 90,000 teachers in sexuality education, 197 teacher-training colleges and reaching almost 2.4 million learners across the region.

“We are grateful for the generous support from Sida,” said Dr. Patricia Machawira, Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor with UNESCO. “This project is transforming the lives of millions of young people across the region. It is critical in building young people’s knowledge of their own sexuality, allowing them to make informed decisions so that they can live healthy and empowered lives.”

Due to the success and overwhelming support from the project, Namibia and South Sudan have been added to the initial six countries that were agreed upon two years ago. Ten additional countries within the region will benefit from capacity building and lesson sharing.

“It is time to act now for the young people today of this region. We need the active mobilization and actions from all segments of society including high-level commitment from the government and community leaders,” said B. Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, Head of the Maputo Office that hosted the event in Mozambique.

“We are glad that the Government of Sweden has been able to provide UNESCO with additional support for scaling up sexuality education in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, including Mozambique,” said Ms Grace Tambatamba Chiyaba, Regional Advisor, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, HIV and AIDS from the Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka.

“Over the two years, we are already seeing significant progress being made at local, national and regional levels. It is pertinent we gain and maintain this momentum, building towards even larger impact in 2015.”[:pt]Young people remain at the forefront of the AIDS response across Eastern and Southern Africa. Although they are vulnerable to infection, they also have the opportunity to change the discourse of HIV/AIDS prevalence forever. In order for this to happen, comprehensive knowledge in how to prevent it is key. Last week, UNESCO, with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), reviewed the second year of progress in a project seeking to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention in eight countries: Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda Zambia, South Sudan and Namibia.

UNESCO, Sida, Mozambique government officials and other key stakeholders gathered in Maputo, Mozambique to present progress and discuss critical next steps in ensuring that all young people have access to critical information and sexual and reproductive health services.

In Eastern and Southern Africa, research has shown that 60 per cent of young people still lack the basic knowledge to prevent HIV due to their limited access to sexuality education. 430,000 new HIV infections are contracted among young people (age 15-24) each year and health services are often withheld from young people because of their age, marital or legal status.

The three-year project is expected to reach 35,000 schools, 74,000 teachers and 15 million learners across the region by December 2015. Focusing on building the capacity of education and health sectors, the project helps build political commitment, strengthen the quality and implementation of sexuality education curricula and improves community engagement in young people’s access to sexuality education and health services.

So far, the project has seen positive results, having already trained over 90,000 teachers in sexuality education, 197 teacher-training colleges and reaching almost 2.4 million learners across the region.

“We are grateful for the generous support from Sida,” said Dr. Patricia Machawira, Regional HIV and Health Education Advisor with UNESCO. “This project is transforming the lives of millions of young people across the region. It is critical in building young people’s knowledge of their own sexuality, allowing them to make informed decisions so that they can live healthy and empowered lives.”

Due to the success and overwhelming support from the project, Namibia and South Sudan have been added to the initial six countries that were agreed upon two years ago. Ten additional countries within the region will benefit from capacity building and lesson sharing.

“It is time to act now for the young people today of this region. We need the active mobilization and actions from all segments of society including high-level commitment from the government and community leaders,” said B. Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, Head of the Maputo Office that hosted the event in Mozambique.

“We are glad that the Government of Sweden has been able to provide UNESCO with additional support for scaling up sexuality education in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, including Mozambique,” said Ms Grace Tambatamba Chiyaba, Regional Advisor, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, HIV and AIDS from the Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka.

“Over the two years, we are already seeing significant progress being made at local, national and regional levels. It is pertinent we gain and maintain this momentum, building towards even larger impact in 2015.”[:fr]Les jeunes restent au premier plan de la réponse au SIDA en Afrique Orientale et Australe.

Même s’ils sont vulnérables à l’infection, ils ont aussi la possibilité de changer le discours de la prévalence du VIH / SIDA pour toujours. Pour ce faire, une connaissance approfondie des moyens de prévention est la clé. La semaine dernière, l’UNESCO, avec le soutien généreux de l’Agence Suédoise Internationale de Développement de la Coopération (ASIDC), a examiné la deuxième année de progrès dans un projet visant à renforcer la santé sexuelle et reproductive et la prévention du VIH dans huit pays: Lesotho, Malawi, le Mozambique, la Tanzanie, l’Ouganda, la Zambie, le Soudan du Sud et la Namibie.

L’UNESCO, l’ASIDC, des représentants du gouvernement du Mozambique et d’autres intervenants clés se sont réunis à Maputo,  au Mozambique afin de présenter les progrès et de discuter des prochaines étapes cruciales pour garantir que tous les jeunes aient accès à l’information et aux services de santé sexuelle et reproductive.

En Afrique Orientale et Australe, les recherches ont montré que 60 pour cent  des jeunes ne disposent toujours pas de connaissances de base pour prévenir le VIH en raison de leur accès limité à l’éducation sexuelle. 430 000 nouvelles infections au VIH sont contractées chez les jeunes (15-24 ans) chaque année et les services de santé sont souvent refusés à des jeunes en raison de leur âge, de  leur état matrimonial ou de leur statut juridique.

Le projet d’une durée de trois ans devrait atteindre 35 000 écoles,  74 000 enseignants et 15 millions d’élèves à travers la région d’ici Décembre 2015. Axé sur le renforcement de la capacité des secteurs de l’éducation et de la santé, le projet contribue à la construction d’un engagement politique, au renforcement de la qualité et de la mise en œuvre des programmes d’éducation sexuelle et à l’amélioration de l’engagement communautaire dans l’accès des jeunes à l’éducation sexuelle et aux services de santé.

Jusqu’ici, le projet a vu des résultats positifs : après avoir déjà formé plus de 90,000  enseignants dans l’éducation sexuelle et 197 établissements de formation des enseignants, il a atteint près de 2,4 millions d’élèves à travers la région.

« Nous sommes reconnaissants du soutien généreux de l’ASIDC », a déclaré le Dr Patricia Machawira,   conseiller régional sur l’éducation, la santé et le VIH à l’UNESCO. «Ce projet est en train de transformer la vie de millions de jeunes à travers la région. Il est essentiel dans la construction d’une connaissance de leur propre sexualité, leur permettant de prendre des décisions éclairées afin qu’ils puissent vivre en bonne santé et prennent leur vie en main. »

En raison du succès écrasant du projet et du soutien dont ils bénéficient, la Namibie et le Soudan du Sud ont été ajoutés aux six premiers pays s’étant accordés il y a deux ans. Dix pays supplémentaires au sein de la région bénéficieront d’un renforcement des capacités et le partage des informations.

Il est temps d’agir maintenant pour les jeunes d’aujourd’hui de cette région.  Nous avons besoin de la mobilisation active et de l’action de tous les segments de la société comprenant un engagement de haut niveau des chefs de gouvernement et des leaders de la communauté », a déclaré B. Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum, Chef du Bureau de Maputo qui a accueilli l’événement au Mozambique.

«Nous sommes heureux que le gouvernement suédois ait été en mesure de fournir à l’UNESCO  un soutien supplémentaire permettant d’intensifier l’éducation sexuelle dans la région de l’Afrique Orientale et Australe, dont le Mozambique”, a déclaré Mme Grace Tambatamba Chiyaba, Conseiller régional sur les droits à la santé sexuelle et reproductive, le VIH et le SIDA de l’ambassade de Suède de Lusaka.

«Au cours des deux dernières années précédentes,  nous avons déjà constaté des progrès significatifs aux niveaux local, national et régional. Il est important de renforcer et de maintenir cette dynamique, afin d’obtenir un impact encore plus grand en 2015. “[:]