As part of Egypt’s National AIDS Campaign 2015, The Joint United National Programme on HIV and AIDS in collaboration with The National AIDS Program (MOHP), civil society partners and youth organizations held a public Graffiti Live Exhibition on the 12th of December 2015 in El Gezira Youth Center, with the aim of using entertainment to raise awareness and destigmatize HIV and AIDS especially among youth.
The event ran around Graffiti art as a way of expressing key destigmatizing messages, with the aim of mobilizing young people to engage with CSOs and other stakeholders to spread awareness key messages aiming at promoting testing for HIV to young people and treatment, promoting the role of Art and Media in educating young people, and promoting health seeking behavior.
Dr. Ahmed Khamis, UNAIDS Egypt Country Manager, talked to the public about the importance of using art to promote the cause; “We are utilizing Graffiti art to engage and attract young people to join the global fast-track movement to end AIDS by 2030”, while Dr. Walid Kamal, National AIDS Program Manager, stressed on the role of the youth in the HIV response stating “The power of youth is vital in driving the HIV response in Egypt, your presence with us today motivates us further”.
The artists, including; Aya Tarek, Amr Diwan, Chanel Arif, and Selim El Leithy, drew masterpieces revolving around key messages related to HIV and stigma against People Living with HIV. Moreover, the audience engaged in the event by trying graffiti art themselves drawing the iconic red ribbon symbolizing solidarity and a commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Over twelve civil society partners and youth organizations joined us to showcase their projects and efforts to address HIV, raise awareness, and tackle stigma and discrimination. Among the organizations were The Egyptian AIDS Society, the Egyptian Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, International Federation of Medical students’ associations, Friend’s Society, Magar, EFPA, Ma3louma, AIU, ENNAA, S4D, Shehab, and Love Matters. 200 volunteers helped us spread messages of awareness among more than 500 attendees
The event is a part of Egypt’s National AIDS campaign spanning across December with events across Egypt. Globally, World AIDS Day is marked with the theme of “Ending AIDS by 2030”, which refers to the global target for achieving zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination by 2030.