Hartnett Bridget1, Nakayima Liliane1, Niyingabira Julien1, Habarurema Gaspard1, Kayumba Malick1,*
1Rwanda Biomedical Center-Rwanda Health Communication Center (RBC-RHCC), Kigali, Rwanda
Community engagement is imperative for linking those who are in need of receiving HIV prevention methods as well as treatment services. Adolescent girls and young women, for example, remain one of the most vulnerable groups. Not only do they bear a higher rate of HIV infections, but they also bear a disproportionate global disease burden, and often face intersecting health, social, cultural, and economic challenges.
Discrimination and stigma can be diminished if communities-aid in ensuring vulnerable groups are able to freely access prevention, testing, and treatment services.
The 20th International Conference for AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA 2019), a Community Engagement Village, was offered a space for conversations and experience sharing, among conference participnts.
The Village served as an opportunity for different to introduce, implement, and advocate for effective evidence-informed HIV/AIDS and STI interventions in their communities, countries, and regions. Key populations, including sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs, and incarcerated people, were able to utilize the forum to also discuss related important issues, advocacy strategies, and their desired responses toward the end of AIDS.