A Word with the Experts – Afsar Syed Mohammad, ILO/AIDS

by Matt Hamilton

I hear a lot of statistics these days, many of which are hard to digest.

Take the following, for example:

Given increasing access to information, it shocked me that young people would continue to be affected so strongly by HIV/AIDS. 5 million young people live with HIV

Yet as I spoke with Mr. Afsar Syed Mohammad, Senior Technical Specialist at ILO’s AIDS Programme, it became clear that not enough is being done to help young people understand and live with HIV/AIDS.

According to Mohammad, recent studies have shown that 41% of new infections occur in young people. He cites a lack of information and empowerment among youth as a reason for why such a high rate occurs.  For this reason, youth employment programs should also “take into concern these 5 million young people living with HIV.”

For Mohammad, “there is no reason [those affected] should not be given a right to work.” As part of its HIV/AIDS strategy, the ILO published the Recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS in the World of Work, the “first human rights instrument to focus on HIV and AIDS in the world of work.” ILO will also be taking part in this year’s International AIDS Conference, to be held this July in Washington, DC.

For more information on ILO/AIDS, check out these links: eng fr esp