A national HIV prevention campaign, #STOPHIVAIDS, has been launched in Moscow, Russian Federation, by Svetlana Medvedeva, spouse of the Russian Prime Minister, with the participation of the ministries of health, education and communications and the Russian agency for consumer protection, Rospotrebnadzor.
The campaign was launched at the Second Forum on HIV Prevention and Treatment, organized by the Foundation for Social and Cultural Initiatives and led by Ms Medvedeva and the Russian Ministry of Health. The event united 500 experts and partners from across the Russian Federation to discuss the implementation of the new state strategy on HIV for 2017 to 2020, which was recently approved by the Prime Minister.
Under the slogan #STOPHIVAIDS, the campaign will run on television and social media platforms, featuring Russian celebrities talking about HIV awareness, prevention and stigma and discrimination. The week-long campaign also includes public events, film screenings and free anonymous express HIV testing and counselling. HIV prevention leaflets will be distributed in the six largest railway stations in Moscow and passengers will be invited to be tested for HIV.
The campaign will also feature an online Internet lesson, Knowledge–Responsibility–Health, designed for young people. HIV awareness events are also planned in secondary schools, military bases and juvenile correctional facilities.
The Russian Federation has the largest HIV epidemic in the region, with more than 100 000 new HIV infections reported by the government in 2015. UNAIDS estimates that 1.5 million people were living with HIV in eastern Europe and central Asia in 2015, up from 1 million in 2010.
“THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THIS INITIATIVE IS TO INFORM PEOPLE ABOUT HIV PREVENTION AND DIAGNOSIS, AS WELL AS TO DEVELOP RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE. PARTICULAR ATTENTION IS PAID TO INFORMATION FOR HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS, MILITARY PERSONNEL AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN PRISON.”
“ACCORDING TO PRELIMINARY DATA FOR 2016, THE NUMBER OF HEALTHY BABIES BORN TO HIV-POSITIVE MOTHERS HAS INCREASED BY 16% COMPARED WITH THE PREVIOUS YEAR, EXCEEDING 98.2%. WE HOPE THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE OUR COUNTRY WILL END MOTHER-TO-CHILD TRANSMISSION OF HIV.”
“WE KNOW WHAT TO DO AND OUR COUNTRY HAS ALL THE EXPERTISE AND TOOLS TO STOP AIDS. WE JUST NEED TO MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER, COOPERATING CLOSELY WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN REACHING KEY POPULATIONS AT HIGHER RISK OF HIV INFECTION.”
“WE WELCOME THIS UNPRECEDENTED, HIGH-LEVEL PUBLIC MOBILIZATION ON HIV IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION. THIS APPROACH IS FULLY CONSISTENT WITH THE CALL OF THE 2016 POLITICAL DECLARATION ON ENDING AIDS FOR COUNTRIES TO GET ON THE FAST-TRACK TO END AIDS.”