The Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (YPLHIV) celebrated 58 years of Uganda’s independence with the first auditions of the 2020 Y+ Beauty Pageant running under the theme, “Changing the Narrative of Young People Living with HIV”.
This all started on Friday 9th October with a community dialogue hosted at the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) offices – Situation room in Kampala bringing together 25 key stakeholders including; the Global Fund CCM representatives, opinion leaders, the police, teachers, parents, law enforcement, health workers, media fraternity, CSOs representatives, and young people.
From the dialogue, teachers acknowledged that stigma and discrimination against students living with HIV is still a critical issue in schools. “Many parents have not and still fear to disclose to their children, some teachers are not professional enough in dealing with students who have opened up about their HIV status to them,” said Mr. Muwesi Robert- Headteacher of Eden High School in Gayaza.
“Ensuring access to justice for people living with HIV came out strongly as a major component in addressing stigma and Discrimination,” Ms. Marion Kutusa the Deputy Commissioner family and child protection unit at Uganda Police said. She reiterated that people living with HIV are not second-class citizens. She urged YPLHIV to report cases of discriminations and voilence targeted at them and that those will be addressed following the available laws “Before one is HIV postive, he/she is a human being and deserves to enjoy their full human rights”she emphasized
The central Regional Auditions of the Y+ beauty pageant were hosted at Alive Medical Services in Namuwongo. These brought together about 40 c0ntestants fighting for only six slots to be the next champions against HIV stigma and discrimination. The ceremony was moderated by a team of three Judges namely, Ms. Zaituni Nabagereka – an SRHR- HIV expert with 10 years experience in working with and for young people, Ms. Blessings Bakashaba- Executive Director, Kakazi Foundation and Mr. okiror Benjamin- Mr.Y+Eastern region 2019/20.
Well as all contestants were declared all winners, Israel Luminsa and Namayanja Sheirat emerged as the Mr & Miss Y+ 2020/21 Central Region.
The 1st Runner’s Up: Semambo Joel, 20 years and Nakyejwe Katherine, 22 years.
The 2nd Runner’s Up: Serunjongi Shafik, 19 years and Mulungi Sanyu, 20 years.
These six winners get a direct ticket to the boot camp together with the other twelve yet to be identified from the remaining three regions. This Friday, the UNYPA team will be in Kamuli for the Eastern region auditions.