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“It’s the first successful effort to scale up peer education globally,” he added.“It’s become a franchise that others are replicating.” He estimates that Y-PEER touches the lives of more than 2 million young people each year, and says number continues to grow.(The training manual has now been adapted and translated into some 15 languages, and a new version has been developed to address cultural sensitivities in the Arab States region.) It meant that important lessons and useful practices could be widely shared, through face-to-face meetings, distance learning courses and Internet chat rooms.It meant that promising peer educators could, with experience, take on larger responsibilities and become skilled trainers and paid project managers.And it meant that young people could have the experience of being part of social movement large enough to make a difference.“What we've done with Y-PEER is to go beyond ad hoc activities to create a coordinated social movement,” said Dr.
For example, UNFPA and the Y-PEER network have partnered with MTV International since 2003 on the Staying Alive campaign.
“When my mother found out about it, she blamed me and threw me out of the house.
I lived on the street for a year before getting help through a hotline, set up by a local organization.” During that time, she had unprotected sex with a number of men “in order to survive.” The organization that helped Natalia to get voluntary testing and counselling was part of an innovative network, pioneered by UNFPA, the United Nations Populations Fund, that links more than 3,000 peer educators with the support they need to educate their friends and cohorts about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
According to surveys carried out in the region, fewer than half of all teenagers were using condoms when having sex with casual partners; among injecting drug users the figure was only 20 per cent.
Since then, HIV has infiltrated the general population in many countries, hitting hardest among young people.