Youth group dance troupe Momina
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A youth group in Bangladesh (c) Alliance

Click here to read more about the Link Up project.

This World AIDS Day (1 December 2013) we are highlighting the urgent need to prioritise and involve young people in efforts to tackle HIV.

Young people account for 40% of all new HIV infections. Each day, more than 2,400 young people become infected with HIV - and some five million young people aged 15-24  live with HIV.

Momina, 22, is a young woman living with HIV in Ethiopia and as a result has experienced an unfair amount of hardship. Despite her experiences she’s strong, ambitious, and a loving mother. This is her story, That Time.


Unfortunately many other young people also have their own story to tell. The majority of sexual health and HIV programmes focus on adults living with HIV or on married women of reproductive age. Young people in many countries are often underserved by these programmes, or in the case of young people living with and affected by HIV, not served at all.

Link Up aims to change this.

Link Up is an ambitious, five country programme which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of more than one million young people living with and affected by HIV in Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Uganda. Download the project overview.

The project recognises that young people remain at the centre of the HIV epidemic and they have the power, through their leadership, to help bring an end to AIDS. Download this briefing on the visions, voices and views of young people living with and affected by HIV on their sexual health needs.

Dance. A serious tool for health awareness
In Ethiopia, Link Up aims to reach 140,000 young people to improve their sexual health. The BEZA Anti-AIDS youth group is one of the hundreds of youth groups that are supported by the Organization of Social Services for AIDS (OSSA), the Alliance Linking Organisation in Ethiopia.

BEZA's dance troupe is a great example of just how true it is that young people have the power. They aim to get safe sex messages to their peers and encourage people to find out their HIV status.

But how do you get safe sex messages to young people in Ethiopia, where cultural attitudes make it difficult to discuss? Form a fierce dance troupe, gather a crowd, and then share information on HIV prevention.

The Link Up partnership

The project draws on the experiences of a consortium of organisations, and the existing strengths of the implementing partners. By ‘linking up’ we will make a significant contribution to the integration of sexual reproductive health and rights interventions.