What being a Penta Young Reporter is all about

24 May, 2023

Millions of people around the world are impacted by HIV, which remains a serious global health problem. Being engaged in HIV research provides the chance to help discover new medicines and perhaps even a cure for the illness, which has a big influence on public health. Also, taking part in a research project might provide the chance to collaborate with a group of professionals and gain knowledge and expertise in advocacy and research.   

Penta has been focusing on meaningfully involving kids and teenagers in their study for the past six years. Sharing science is a significant theme. The world of social media, especially among the younger generation, is ingrained into people’s daily life. It is a powerful tool for communicating knowledge and promoting awareness about HIV, because it reaches a global audience. 

Penta’s “Young Reporters” is a project that seeks to enhance the dissemination of scientific knowledge from HIV conferences and workshops to children and teenagers living with HIV via social media. By sharing information about research on social media, we can contribute to eradicating the stigma associated with HIV. By raising public knowledge of the condition, we can improve understanding and support for people living with the virus.

As Penta Young Reporters, we benefit from the initiative, whilst we find our footing, because we learn new things also on supporting our self-care and prioritising one’s needs, as we have met other young people living with HIV and learned more about how medicine helps manage HIV.      

We have also been building our interpersonal skills, which will make it easier to communicate with others. The stigma and discrimination still associated with HIV can prevent some people from getting tested, treated, or receiving care. By disseminating correct information and encouraging an environment that is more welcoming and supportive of those living with HIV, social media can help to reduce stigma. We have been doing training to help us learn how to do this.  

Some of the things we have learned while exploring new things on social media are:  

  • How to create storyboards. Techniques such as how to organise a narrative, pinpoint important themes, and develop a visual narrative flow methods for converting complicated concepts into clear and interesting stories. 
  • Creating effective social media posts. By understanding the nuances of different social media platforms and their respective audiences. Techniques for writing effective headlines, captions, and calls-to-action that drive engagement. 
  • Updating content: The importance of doing so on a regular schedule to keep it current and interesting. How to perform content audits and spot opportunities for improvement. 
  • Activism and social media: Social media’s role in activism and advocacy actions, including the application of hashtags, online petitions, and social media campaigns. 

One of the other Penta Young Reporters said,

“I really liked the content of the training. It explained things well and it was very concise and communicative with images and everything. I’ll be honest that some things I didn’t understand, but they are things I didn’t really know and with more practice I have understood.”  

We’re going to put our new knowledge into practice and you can follow along our social media posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

This blog was written by Pieet, a Penta Young Reporter