Hour 20

Having never experienced the shock tactics of the 1990s public health campaigns or witnessed nightly news bulletins depicting emaciated dying men, young people today have a very different understanding of HIV and AIDS.

Globally, youth account for half of all new HIV infections and are the largest growth demographic within the epidemic.

James Findlay explores how young people are already making a difference. Arushi Singh, a sexual health and youth advocate from India, joins the conversation to reveal the challenges faced by central Asians concerning HIV and youth. Like many countries around the world, India is suffering a hangover from colonialism. Laws criminalising homosexuality did not exist prior to the country being colonised by the British. Reaching men who have sex with men to deliver messages of sexual health is difficult in countries where homosexuality remains illegal. Capacity building of key populations and encouraging leaders to deliver peer education remain the most effective ways to change attitudes, reduce stigma and stem the rising number of HIV infections in the region.

In the studio, James is joined by three inspirational young people who all have a very personal connection to HIV and AIDS.

Kaushi Kogar is a young woman working with Youth Empowerment Against HIV (YEAH) in Melbourne. The group’s Australia-wide work in schools and at youth events delivers peer-to-peer sexual health education and resources.

Mohammed Barry does not know life without HIV. He told his personal story in a moving and inspirational TED talk and now travels the world ensuring his voice is heard on behalf of the millions of young people living with or affected by HIV who have no way of speaking up. Articulate, intelligent, persuasive and purposeful, Mo Barry is one of the driving forces behind the youth component of the 20th International AIDS Conference being held in Melbourne this July (AIDS 2014).

James’ third studio guest is Craig Burnett who at 19 years old discovered he had HIV when he donated blood to the Red Cross. Unaware of exactly how he contracted the virus, Craig’s resilience and strength has seen him go on to be successful in his career and take up rugby union with Melbourne’s gay rugby club, the Melbourne Chargers. Now aged 25, Craig continues to contribute to his community in ways that inspire and educate.


Arushi Singh
Mohammed Barry
Kaushi Kogar
Craig Burnett

Hosted by James Findlay.

Watch the video above or listen to the audio below: