The Y+ Leadership Code

The communities of people living with HIV (PLHIV) have played a critical role in the HIV response over the last 30 years. In the 1980s, PLHIV articulated their immediate priorities in the Denver Principles, in the 1990s, treatment activism made living a long life with HIV a reality for millions; and in the last ten years the movement for Universal Access and for human rights has been at the centre of the response. The influence and impact of the positive community depends to a large degree on the strength and depth of the community’s leadership.

Supporting young emerging leaders is a shared responsibility of both the positive community and all people working in the HIV response. An integrated approach with a clear set of principles is needed to ensure that young leaders are supported at the international, national and community levels.

Young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) proposed a Leadership Code as a tool to set the principles for building leadership capacity and to hold relevant stakeholders accountable for supporting a new generation of positive leaders.

The Leadership Code will function as a guidance document for organizations and networks. Every signatory will, based on their organizational focus and capacity, come up with a statement including two to five commitments for the coming year on how they will work towards making their policies more responsive to the diverse needs of young people living with HIV and their leadership development. Organizations will be accountable to these commitments.


The Leadership Code aims to:

  • Share the responsibility of building the leadership capacity of YPLHIV among all people working in the HIV response (not only the positive community)
  • Serve as a mechanism to hold organizations accountable for their commitments
  • Set the principles for how organizations can build leadership capacity among young people living with HIV as an integrated part of their organization’s long-term work

Read more by downloading the printable copy of the Leadership Code. If you agree with the code, please register as a member first and upon approval of your request follow the next step and become a Code signatory (you will only be able to sign the code on approval of your membership).