Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS

A program of the Public Health Institute
540 President St.
3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) is a youth-led network of nearly 6,500 young leaders and adult allies in over 170 countries working to promote young people’s health and rights in the era of AIDS. Launched by young attendees of the International AIDS Conferences in Barcelona in 2002 and Bangkok in 2004, GYCA recognizes the potential of young leaders and empowers them with knowledge, skills, resources, and opportunities to expand their own initiatives and engage with the global community working towards “zero new HIV-infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths’

GYCA’s work is focused in three main areas: capacity-building and technical assistance; networking and sharing of best practices; and political advocacy. GYCA advocates for a human rights-based approach to HIV and AIDS interventions that includes full and accurate information, comprehensive education and services. Because most young people are infected with HIV through sexual intercourse and in some instances sexual violence, GYCA reaffirms that sexual and reproductive health and rights must be integrated with HIV and AIDS interventions to succeed.

GYCA is committed to working with and for marginalized youth such as injecting drug users, men who have sex with men, sex workers, young women, and youth in resource-constrained areas, and aims to create meaningful youth-adult partnerships. GYCA has offices in New York, Accra, and Toronto, and works closely with 12 young community advocates serving as Regional Focal Points and approximately 50 serving as National Focal Points globally.

VPA focal person

Yvonne Bellys Akoth
Regional Focal Point – Eastern Africa, GYCA
Email: or
Tel: +254 714 726 403

Yvonne Bellys Akoth, a Kenyan national, is the Regional Focal Point for GYCA in East Africa. Her work involves spearheading HIV/AIDS initiatives in the Eastern African Region where she works closely with five National Focal Points. In Kenya, she is the Focal Point for an ‘End the Violence Campaign’ against Girls and Young Women with the Kenya Girl Guides Association. She is also an advisory committee member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and UN Women on the development of a non-formal educational curriculum to ’Stop the Violence’ against Girls and Young Women.

Yvonne has seven years experience working with youth on HIV/AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and has extensive international experience on matters pertaining to youth development. Yvonne has contributed to the development of an Alcohol Prevention Manual of the Kenya Girl Guides Association in Partnership with the Ministry of Education in Kenya as well as the CrowdOutAIDS Strategy, which is the UNAIDS Secretariat’s new youth-led policy project.