660 high school students engage for the first time in a reflection to improve the research and innovation agenda on HIV prevention

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660 high school students engage for the first time in a reflection to improve the research and innovation agenda on HIV prevention

The Deputy General Director of "la Caixa" Foundation, Elisa Durán; the director of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Bonaventura Clotet, and the head of the Living Lab for Health, Rosina Malagrida, open the Co-ResponsHIVility Congress on CosmoCaixa today. Four hundred of the 660 students who are participating in this educational and transformative project have gathered together with experts in the field to present the Research and Innovation Agenda for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), developed for and with young people. The agenda, which provides innovative ideas on how to deal with the problem, is preliminary since it is still necessary to start a second stage of reflection and dialogue with the other social actors.

Science and technology have largely been modulating the model of civilization but, although they bring great improvements to the general welfare, this model is also accompanied by major societal challenges, including problems such as social inequalities, aging, climate change or fight against diseases such as HIV infection. In this field, it is worrying that the number of adult infections has not declined since 2010, and that more than 2 million new infections are detected annually, 800 in Catalonia.


Co-deciding the future of the society

Although the scientific community is convinced that better solutions to these challenges can be found by investing in research and innovation, there is still a large part of the population that feels distant from this reality. In view of this situation, both the European Commission and many European countries have undertaken many policies to open up research and innovation and seek new processes that allow the scientific community to reflect jointly with other societal actors in order to co-decide the future of the society.

In this context, the Co-ResponsHIVility project invites different stakeholders (educational community, civil society organizations, policy makers and the scientific community) to participate in collaborative deliberation processes to end up agreeing on a Research and Innovation Agenda on HIV and other STIs prevention that better responds to the needs of different groups. The project also responds to the demand to work on this subject that more than 1,000 students from High School pointed out during the course 2014-15, when the project coordinators asked them what was the health problem that worried them the most.

Co-ResponsiHIVility is developed within the educational programme Xplore Health, promoted by "la Caixa" Foundation and the Living Lab for Health of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, with the collaboration of the European Commission project EnRRICH. It also counts with the collaboration of a wide range of entities, such as the Public Health Agency of Catalonia and the Center for Epidemiological Studies on STIs and AIDS of Catalonia (CEEISCAT), among others.

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