Children and HIV and AIDS

UNICEF Project Officer honoured at AIDS 2006

UNICEF Image
© International AIDS Society
UNICEF Project Officer Penelope Campbell collects her award.

by Dan Thomas

TORONTO, Canada, 15 August 2006 – UNICEF’s Penelope Campbell was recognized at the XVI International AIDS Conference on Monday as the winner of a prestigious award for young women working on the front lines of the fight against AIDS.

Ms. Campbell, 35, is the winner of the 2006 Young Investigator Prize: Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS Award for her pioneering work on the ‘Bashy Bus’ initiative with young people in Jamaica, where she focuses on HIV/AIDS issues as a UNICEF Project Officer.

The award was conferred by the International AIDS Society and the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) with the support of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS.

Hard work of researchers

“As women and girls make up more and more of those infected and impacted by HIV, it is critical that women play a central role in developing our understanding of this disease,” said ICRW President Geeta Rao Gupta. “Penelope epitomizes the hard work and skill that thousands of women researchers demonstrate each and every day.”

The prize is awarded to a woman from a non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country whose presentation has been accepted by the International AIDS Conference’s Scientific Programme Committee.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF/2006/Thomas
UNICEF Project Officer Penelope Campbell with her award at AIDS 2006, the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto.

“These awards not only recognize significant scientific accomplishments, but they also draw the world’s attention to some of the most promising researchers working in HIV/AIDS,” said International AIDS Society President Helene Gayle.

Interviewed after accepting the award during the opening plenary session at the International AIDS Conference, also known as AIDS 2006, Ms. Campbell acknowledged the work of the Jamaican non-governmental organization Children First and the team at Research Analysis and Associates, namely Rowan Bell and Angela Stultz.

Mobile HIV testing and counselling

An idea hatched in 2004 by Ms. Campbell and Children First Executive Director Claudette Richardson-Pious resulted in the ‘Bashy Bus’ initiative – a mobile HIV-testing clinic and counselling service for young Jamaicans.

“The idea was to take the service to the young people who were not being reached by traditional services,” she explained.

To date, some 400 young Jamaicans have been tested on the bus, and thousands more have been reached with prevention messages and counselling services designed with their needs in mind.

The concept for the Bashy Bus, which is Jamaican slang for ‘party bus’, came out of detailed research by Research Analysis and Associates working with young people to find out what adolescents need in terms of information and services, and how they want to receive it.


 

 

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AIDS 2006 Youth Programme website

AIDS 2006 website

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