A current member of our youth committee and another of our participants, had a conversation about their HIV, as part of the BBC Wales Live series. Click here to view the article.
9 members of the CYC met in Surrey for a weekend residential in November. We welcomed new members and enjoying getting to know each other. As one of our new members is deaf we all learnt a lot of British Sign Language and will continue to do this at each meeting.
We had an incredibly productive weekend- these are some of the things we discussed: Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights with a visitor from Brook, the NHS Service Specification for Paediatric HIV (and the group’s views on the Key Performance Indicators), the International HIV and AIDS Conference taking place in 2020, the upcoming CHIVA Conferences and what the CYC wants to tell the audiences, a CHIVA Acceptable Use Policy for smart phones during Young People’s meetings and residentials, CHIVA Camp, and the latest Youth Stop AIDS Campaigns.
We also spoke with the newly appointed CYC Youth Advocacy Coordinator about different events he has attended recently on behalf of the CYC and took part in a focus group about clinic attendance with Marthe from the MRC. We also appointed a new chairperson and deputy and they will be introduced at the conferences.
All in all it was a whirlwind of discussions and activities along with some dancing and archery! We are very grateful to all the young people for their hard work.
The CYC met at camp and had a lively meeting. They were joined by CHIVA Exec Member Elaine Pearson and talked about possible youth-led funding applications they could work on together. The CYC would like to look for funding to hold a large peer support and social meeting to bring together young people who are now too old to attend CHIVA Camp.
The CYC also talked about various initiatives going on at the moment such as ‘Fast Track Cities’ and the policy agenda about ‘Ageing with HIV’. The young people talked about their fears around being able to swallow tablets and the length of time in their lives they will have taken medicine for.
The meeting also looked at CYC recruitment for 2019-2020. There were 15 applications for the 4 CYC vacancies. It was really difficult to make the decisions between the applicants and some people had written some very powerful messages about why they wanted to join the CYC and what they wanted to achieve.
The 4 successful applicants were announced during the ceremony to mark 10 years of camp and were invited onto the stage to greet their fellow CYC members. The 4 departing members were given small gifts as we said goodbye.
The CYC met in Oxford in February to prepare for the CHIVA conferences (in March 2019) and camp, with external workshop sessions run by Brook and Debate Mate. The group worked on the key topics to be explored in the family conference session, including the Young People's workshop which they will facilitate, and discussion topics for the Family Communication Workshop.
The committee also spend a lot of time preparing their CHIVA Conference Symposium - 'My journey with Medicine.' They explored what being undetectable means and what the obstacles are for some young people to achieve this. The Debate Mate training was a lively session about debating and public speaking skills with lots of really helpful exercises to prepare and present well. Brook wanted the group's views about some new resources they are developing about Women and Girls' 'Intimate Health' and the group really appreciated the opportunity to talk about sexual health more generally.
The new members of the CYC held their first meeting in November 2018. It was a jam-packed 24 hour event with lots of lively discussion and ideas for the coming year. A new chairperson and deputy were elected. We reviewed the NAT HIV school lesson plans. We also looked at the twitter account @freedom2spk and the secure website ifonlyyouknew, reviewing the site and looking at how to make improvements. We had a theatre trip to see 'The Wolves' at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, who provided free tickets for the group.