Radio discussion on role of youth at two North American health conferences!

By Aminata, YAHAnet intern

 

On April 16, 2013, on behalf of YAHAnet, I hosted CKUT Radio's "Health on Earth" show, focusing on two recent health conferences held in Canada and the United States.

Overall, being on air was a good experience! Even though it was not my first time, I was still quite nervous. My previous experience on a radio show I was being interviewed so I felt more at ease, whereas with the "Health on Earth" show I was the one posing the questions. However, listening to the things that young members of the McGill University community and students across North America are doing for the fight against HIV & AIDS was very inspirational and informative.

We kicked off the show with McGill student Man Wah Yeung talking about the conference she recently attended in Vancouver, British Columbia, by the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR), which is the leading organization of HIV/AIDS researchers in Canada. At the conference, Man Wah presented her work for her master's thesis at McGill University on the Canadian co-infection (HIV and hepatitis) cohort study that started 10 years ago. The conference also touched on how HIV disproportionately affects aboriginal youths in Canada and Australia, as well as their experiences after colonization.

The 6th annual conference by YTH (Youth+Tech+Health), which YAHAnet coordinator John attended in San Francisco, California, had a lot of youth representation—157 of the 500 attendees were students. Among the many topics, the conference touched on the use of Tumblr for youth sexual health awareness. Seeing as more and more parents have joined Facebook, Tumblr is now viewed as "the face that you invent, while Facebook is the real you" (Sex, Etc.). John had the opportunity to present his work on what has and hasn't worked with keeping youth engaged in telling their stories online.

After an entertaining parody of "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, I spoke about YAHAnet's webisode and storyboard contest on HIV and gender stereotypes and played a few of the amazing webisode submissions that John featured in his San Francisco presentation. I explained that, overall, we chose the contest theme because we wanted to contribute to the broader discussion on bullying and discrimination across social media today.

Upon leaving the studio, I was very inspired and impressed by the two conferences on sexual health and HIV/AIDS.

Have a listen to see what I mean!