Started at the beginning of 203, the Youth Forum represented a project that complemented the activities and services provided through the “Sunflower – Smile” Day Clinics Network. The project began with the basic idea that HIV positive young people can get involved in making decisions which concern them, can advocate and fight for their rights, thus contributing to the quality improvement of the services they need.
For an accurate representation and an adequate adjustment to the identified needs, the young people require information and access to fast and modern means of communication such as virtual communication through the internet.
At the moment of project start, most of the HIV positive young people, beneficiaries of the day clinics, didn’t have internet connection in their homes and therefore their only information sources were the staff of the clinics and their families. Another important aspect was that many of the young beneficiaries were not aware of their HIV status as it hadn’t been communicated, at the request of their families to protect them.
In order to answer the ever-changing needs of the young people living with HIV/AIDS, all the day clinics were connected to the internet and equipped with computers. The staff in the clinics provided the young people with the necessary assistance to access the web page especially created for them (http://www.forumtineri.ro/) and to search for useful information from various fields (health, work etc).
Starting with 2004, to the discussion forum a dialogue component was added through which 17 HIV positive young people were able to communicate directly with journalists about subjects associated with HIV/AIDS, thus getting actively involved in the fight against discrimination and social exclusion.
The “Sunflower – Smile” Day Clinics network and the hospitals they belong to: Constanta Municipal Hospital, Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases of Brasov, Infectious Diseases Hospital of Craiova, “Cuvioasa Parascheva” Infectious Diseases Hospital of Iasi, Bacau County Hospital and Petrosani Emergency Hospital.