The 95-95-95 target is achievable -Nicholas Niwagaba

Nicholas Niwagaba

The Y plus beauty pageant launched on Friday, Skyz hotel Naguru alongside a cocktail party. It involved guests and the event was graced by different representatives from UN agencies such as UNAIDS, UNFPA, and UNWomen

The Yplus Pageant is a campaign that is geared towards ending stigma and discrimination related to HIV. It empowers young people with knowledge and advocacy skills, which enable them to lead the fight against stigma in their communities

This year’s beauty pageant theme is under; “peers making it happen” and several auditions set to be conducted across the country where regional winners will be selected to compete at the national level. They will have a series of activities such as school outreaches, health community dialogues that will provide a platform for young people living with HIV to speak openly about stigma and discrimination in the community.

The event was opened by a cultural dance from Mr. Y+ 2017/2018, Huzairu Nyanzi and his dance group called Batabazi cultural Dance group. There followed the unveiling of the different fashion designers

”Over 700 young people have benefited from the platform across the country and was challenged to begin the Y Plus Pageant in 2014. On the first edition, it started with only 10 contestants who have then increased as the years go by, this pageant has greatly helped in ending HIV stigma among young people living with HIV. It has actually transformed them into change agents in their communities” – The team leader at UNYPA, Nicholas Niwagaba said at the official launch

Next was a panel discussion about the effects of HIV stigma on young people living with HIV and the problems they face at health centres.

A representative from Uganda aids commission then gave his speech appreciating the work by unypa and the guest of honour; emphasized the connection between gender-based violence and HIV stigma.

Being hosted by two iconic vocal MCs; Miss Deedan and Ronnie McVex, the event was colourful and interactive. All guests were clad in the latest designer clothes

The grand finale for the beauty pageant 2019 will take place in November. We shall keep you posted.

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Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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