This profile was prepared when Rocío Rubí Roncal Rojas was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Rocío is harnessing expertise from HIV- and AIDS-focused institutions to target the needs of Peru's at-risk youth. Rocio's new model for service delivery brings together individual resources borrowed from other organizations, some of which have fallen dormant over time, and offers them as a complete package to young people through a series of multifunctional service centers. These complexes form a localized "city" of HIV and AIDS service providers–unparalleled in Peru and most of the Andean region–providing complete access to testing, condoms, counseling, emergency telephone hotlines, support groups, prevention information, medical care, and legal assistance. In addition to addressing the most pressing issues surrounding the growing AIDS epidemic in Peru, Rocío's program is leading a new movement toward greater responsibility among youth, including understanding lifestyle risks and exercising sexual and reproductive rights, thereby tackling the behaviors that make adolescents a particularly high-risk group.