Luis Davila's Weblog


International AIDS Conference Days 2 and 3!
August 7, 2008, 10:03 am
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Hi all,

These past two days have been filled with intense activities and sessions at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. On Tuesday, I spent a lot of time at the global village. I might already talked about this, but the global village is a space at the IAC 2008 where community groups from around the world are sharing their work and creating opportunities for networking. I hope to be able to share video on this soon.

I also attended sessions on funding gaps and opportunities relating to HIV/AIDS and one on the current state of the pandemic in Latin America. This one was very instructive and brought together activists with leaders from international agencies like UNAIDS and the Global Fund working in the region.

 

On Wednesday, I attended a plenary on sexual workers, which for the first time had them discussing their own issues. It was very interesting! I also attended sessions on the linkage between human security and HIV (this one with Mary Robinson) and one on the effect of global trade and bilateral agreements on universal access to treatment. The one on human security was particularly interesting as it presented associative (but not causative) data from UNHCR which links low prevalence levels to high levels of conflict. This would mean that wars keep HIV low, and this rapidly expands in post-conflict zones. This was highly controversial, but the speaker tried to focus on the need to invest heavily on post-conflict areas, instead of speaking about when and/or how the data may more directly link low HIV prevalence to conflict.

I finished Wednesday with a session on young people, including youth speakers from India and Guyana who explained youth-friendly programs in their regions and ways that youth-related commitments in the UNGASS declaration are being implemented (or not).

Tomorrow and Friday are the last days of the conference! I’ll keep you posted!l

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International AIDS Conference 2008 – Mexico City Day 1!
August 5, 2008, 6:36 pm
Filed under: hiv/aids, young people, youth, youth engagement | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today I attended a few sessions at the IAC 2008. The first one was a plenary discussing the different approaches to HIV/AIDS. It was very informative!

I then spent a lot of time at the conference’s Global Village. This is a huge exhibition space where a multitude of community-based organizations are sharing their experiences working with HIV/AIDS and organizing a lot of participatory activities.

I also participated in a session on how young people are using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to battle the pandemic. I’ll share some videos from this session soon.

Following this last session, I went to an event focusing on the linkage between migration and HIV/AIDS. I thought it was just going to address migration from Mexico and Central America to the US, but the conversation was much richer and included presentations on migration issues in Asia and Africa.

I ended the day with a session on the pandemic’s future. It was run by an initiative called aids2031 which is trying to create a framework for addressing HIV/AIDS in a more sustainable long-term manner.

I’ll keep reporting!



Youth Pre-Conference at Mexico International AIDS Conference
August 5, 2008, 2:46 pm
Filed under: young people, youth, youth engagement | Tags: , , ,

From July 31 to August 2, I was part of a youth pre-conference to the International AIDS Conference. It was great! I hung out with 200+ young people from around the world working on HIV/AIDS-related projects. The conference provided some preparation for the actual International AIDS Conference, which started last night. I helped organize the last youth pre-conference in Toronto, but feel that this one was better in many ways.

I taped some of the content from the pre-conference and hope to add it to some footage from the main conference and share it with everyone soon! In the meantime, please see some quick clips from my time with amazing young people making a difference.

 

Video link 1 –

 

Video link 2 – 



Trip to Huatulco, Mexico!
August 5, 2008, 2:03 pm
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Last week I spent a few nights at an amazing beach called La Boquita near Huatulco, Mexico. We stayed at a very eco-friendly hotel called Bahia de la Luna. The staff was super friendly and the prices were very affordable.

Most of my stay at Bahia de la Luna was spent hanging out at this beautiful Pacific coast beach. I did take some time to check out some of the reservations in the area holding crocodiles and different types of birds.  See the following Youtube videos for details of my stay!

 

Video link 1 – 

 

Video link 2 –

 

Now, I’m at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. More postings on that soon!