Over 200 people, many of them young attended the AIDS campaign held at the Youth Creativity Palace in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The event to celebrate World AIDS Day 2011 was initiated by GF/UNDP project "Continuing scale up of the response to HIV in Uzbekistan, with particular focus on most at risk populations" project, this initiative was supported by UN agencies - UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations – Social Initiatives Support Fund, “Kelajak ovozi” Youth organization and many others.
The event agenda included speeches by representatives of governmental, international and public organizations as well as an exhibition offering photos and information materials by organizations working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, a demonstration of videos dedicated to HIV event participants included representatives of international organizations, governmental organizations - the Republican AIDS Center, the Republican Center of Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance, Institute of Dermatoveneorology, Uzbek NGOs – Kamolot Youth movement, Ishonch va Hayot, Istiqbolli Avlod, Women’s Committee, Anticancer society, as well as people living with HIV, journalists, college students and schoolchildren.
“UNDP very much welcomes this initiative as an opportunity to celebrate achieved results and attract greater public attention to this issue and the approaches to its solution. UNDP is proud to partner the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in implementing the project "Continuing scale up of the response to HIV in Uzbekistan, with particular focus on most at risk populations". As Principal Recipient we are glad to join efforts with governmental, nongovernmental and civil society organizations in carrying out activities, aimed at enhancing capacities of local NGOs, creating a powerful barrier against the epidemic by reaching out to most at-risk populations and people living with HIV with treatment, care and support services” – said Stefan Liller, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative.
Young participants actively contributed to the event, presenting self-made videos and information materials on the activities carried out by the NGOs in regions to raise awareness of young people in the field of combating HIV and helping young people making informed and responsible decisions about their health. Performance, presented by activists of youth movements with scenes, demonstrating stigma and discrimination and the ways to overcome it attracted special attention of participants. The performance presented lively scenes of daily life, featuring how fear and intolerance of HIV positive people can be changed to understanding and non-discrimination.
The concert, featuring Uzbek pop stars topped the event with thematical songs. Participants, especially young ones together with singers sang songs about tolerance, optimism and love. Dense event agenda, warm and friendly atmosphere, active involvement of all participants and energetic rhythm of music marked the event as a success.
The key message conveyed by the recent campaign is the need to form a tolerant attitude towards people living with HIV (PLHIV). The event also sought to attract attention to the problem of HIV spread and to remind that every individual has a responsibility for his or her own health and the health of their loved ones. The ultimate goal shared by the AIDS campaign organizers and participants is to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination.
This message reached out not only to event participants, but also to wider audiences - representatives of national mass media expressed profound interest in the event, which received wide media coverage in “Uzbekistan”, “NTT”, “Yoshlar” TV channels, “Pravda Vostoka”, “Jamiyat”, “Uzbekistan Today” newspapers, radio “Uzbekistan” and others .