My name is Sargis Ghazaryan and I am the Resource Mobilisation and Partnership working group lead for The PACT and I will be heading to the AIDS2020. Join me on the ROAD to AIDS2020.

This will be the first time I will be involved in a major AIDS conference hosted by IAS. I am eager to take part in AIDS2020 because I believe the conference is a great platform that brings together many young activists from across the globe working not only on just HIV but also SRHR. I think the conference allows different groups of people from different backgrounds and experiences to come together and help frame new ways of thinking to advance the HIV response. There are several components of AIDS2020 which I am very interested in such as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), womenís empowerment and mental health. I hope to contribute to AIDS2020 with my experiences in SRHR and young people at the country, regional and global level.

I think there are many ways The PACT can contribute to AIDS2020, considering that now I am the Resource Mobilisation and Partnership working group lead, I will use the platform to bring visibility to The PACT agenda and collaboration. The PACT has a lot to contribute in terms of showcasing best practices and innovative solutions but more importantly how young people are key players in the HIV response. Establishing key partnerships is a priority of mine for The PACT and my involvement in the conference will provide a chance for me to network and bring visibility to our cause.

I believe all young people at the conference should really maximise the opportunity to gain new and valuable insight and absorb as much information as possible to take back home. I think the conference will help foster creativity and bring about new solutions for meaningful youth engagement. I am also the international coordinator of Y-PEER, and Y-PEER have also secured sessions and a booth at the conference which will explore issues related to young people and SRHR. I hope many people will take the opportunity to stop by and have a chat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has surely been a key focus of 2020 and I can only assume this will also be recurring theme and discussion through-out the conference. We as young people have faced many specific challenges because of the pandemic, and I hope the conferences provides an opportunity for us to share those experiences and to find practical solutions to address the needs of the community. I also would like to take back as much knowledge on COVID-19, in terms of best practices, and apply that to the work Y-PEER and The PACT does with young people. In a time like this itís important for us all to unite and fight against COVID-19, but more importantly make sure young people are not left behind.

I look forward to joining you all on the ROAD to AIDS2020.

Sargis Ghazaryan – sargisghazaryan@y-peer.or

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