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The “Young Leaders Think Tank for Policy Alternatives” (Think Tank) is an initiative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung to enhance youth participation in governance and policy formulation in Uganda. The Think Tank is a group of 20 highly qualified and committed young Ugandans, who interact and work together on a regular basis to analyse policy issues and develop policy alternatives from the perspective of the young generation. The group members lead by example in the promotion of issue-based and constructive dialogue and debate, adhering to the guiding principles of tolerance and objectivity.
Since it was founded the Think Tank has conducted extensive research resulting in the development of policy papers on key development topics. The issues which have been addressed include: employment, education, and health. The developed papers are shared with a cross-section of stakeholders where they are presented as policy alternatives from the perspectives of young people.
In 2014, the Think Tank identified HIV/AIDS as one of the topics that are going to be analysed and on which policy recommendations are going to be given.
It is now three decades since the first case of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was reported in Uganda. Over the years, the country has experienced a big burden of AIDS. The national human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) surveillance system established in the mid-1980s to track the epidemic has documented more than 2 million people in the country who have been infected by the HIV virus. A large proportion of them have died from AIDS-related conditions. Furthermore, mathematical projection estimates have shown that approximately 130,000 new HIV infections occur annually in Uganda. To address this high burden, a national prevention strategy is being implemented and various approaches are used to monitor the progress of the national response.
While graced with initial success also attributed to the political will behind the fight against he disease, current trends show a deterioration of the situation with more infections and less safe behaviour being recorded. As a new approach to tackle these developments, a National AIDS Policy is currently being drafted and under approval by the Cabinet. In regard to these circumstance, the Young Leaders Think Tank decided to dedicate itself to the analysis of the overall policy situation surrounding the issue to develop recommendations and guidelines to ensure the effective realization of the new policy.