By Felix Oketcho
The Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA) has launched its fifth annual Young + Beauty Pageant, a campaign geared towards ending stigma and discrimination among young people living with HIV in Uganda.
The event to held under the theme, “Confronting HIV with bold steps” is the first of the series of activities in the build-up to the grand finale that will happen on November 23, 2018, at the Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala.
Nicholas Niwagaba, the UNYPA Executive Director, said the pageant is a unique campaign that is geared towards ending stigma and discrimination by empowering young people with knowledge and advocacy skills that enable them lead the fight against the stigma.
“Young people have continuously faced frustrations from stigma and discrimination from their families, guardians, potential employers, and the general public. This affects their uptake of HIV services at health facilities, fear to disclose due to violence and rejections,” he told
Cynthia Kyofuna, the Public Relations and Communications Manager at UNYPA intimated that this year’s pageant will include regional auditions, a boot camp before the much-anticipated grand finale and will attract over 100 participants.
According the event officials’ various auditions will be held exclusively to young people between the ages of 16 – 24 living with HIV in Wakiso district for central region on October 6, Apac district for the Northern region on October 13, Rukungiri district for the Western region on October 27 and Iganga district for Eastern region on November 3.