Youth to represent nation at int’l AIDS congress

National 1 minute, 53 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FOUR Bruneian youth will represent the nation in this year’s 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 11) which will be held in Bangkok from November 18-22.

Representing the Sultanate will be the members of the Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council (BDAC) led by its president, Iswandy Ahmad. Iswandy, who is also a Technical Working Group member of Youth LEAD — An international organisation comprising youth leaders that addresses issues of affected youth in HIV and AIDS). He will be one of the facilitators during ICAAP sessions while the other three members are part of the delegation as they have been awarded community and youth scholarships from the organiser.

Themed “Asia/Pacific Reaching Triple Zero: Investing in Innovation” , the event reflects the region’s ongoing commitment to achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

The Brunei delegation will be sharing some of the nation’s best practices in addressing HIV and AIDS in the country such as peer education, empowerment and outreach to youth.

Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council has been actively involved in raising awareness for the disease of the human immune system and other related issues in the country especially to young people who are one of the key-affected populations. HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme for Peers and Youth (HAPPY) and Life Skills Training (LESTARI) are among the activities organised by the council to empower young people to be self-responsible and making the right decisions.

ICAAP, which is held once every two years, will be officially opened by Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok, according to the press release from the organiser. It is also the largest conference of its type in the region which is expecting 4000 delegates from more than 20 countries to join the event.

Among the expected attendees to address and discuss the progress and challenges in the ongoing HIV/AIDS response include Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, President of the Republic of Fiji; Steve Kraus, Director of UNAIDS regional support team for Asia and the Pacific; Michael Kirby, former Justice of the High Court of Australia who will be joining other political and scientific leaders, civil society advocates, people living with HIV and those from key affected populations.

The Brunei Times