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Regional Newsletter "Development and Transition


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Belarusian Stars Become Comic Characters to Unite Their Efforts in Fighting AIDS

Today, Minsk secondary school #161 hosted an unusual action dedicated to the World AIDS Day. The members of the Star Team to fight AIDS, which was created last year under the UNDP project “Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Belarus”, held an autograph session and a presentation of comics where they featured.

Bright comics entitled “Make your own promise in fight against AIDS, or the Star Team is hurrying to rescue!” tell a story of a secondary school student Vlad and his friends. Their main idea is that love, friendship and mutual understanding can provide a solid protection against the disease.

“Famous people of Belarus became characters of the comics”, said Antonius Broek, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, in his address to the school children. “I am sure you know many of them, and I hope they will help you understand how to protect yourselves from AIDS. Please pass this information to your friends”.

Mr. Broek arranged a sort of a testing of knowledge about AIDS. In particular, he proposed to raise hands to those who believed that HIV is transmitted with mosquito bites or with meals at the school cafeteria. There were no wrong answers, and the UNDP RR noted the children’s good knowledge of these issues.

The Star Team members featuring famous Belarusian musicians, TV–anchormen, sportsmen and actors called upon the teens to show sympathy for their neighbors’ troubles, to love and take care of each other, and to risk only in sports.

The comics’ presentation was attended by representatives of the UN, Ministry of Health of Belarus, mass media, and winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Alexey Zhigalkovich. All children were presented with the comics with the autographs of the Star Team members.

For reference: The social comic genre was born last century. The Superman appeared shortly before World War II, and was followed by the Captain America fighting Hitler in 1941. The X–People comic book was created in 1963 to support the idea of promotion of human rights. The Pulitzer Prize–winner comics by Art Spiegelman told a story about the struggle of the Holocaust victims. Modern comics narrate about today’s challenges – the fight against AIDS, spread of drugs, and terrorism.

For further information please refer to Public Information Specialist of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment project, Maria Malinovskaya, at +375 29 662–41–84, or Vladislav Khilkevich, UNDP Communications Associate at +375 17 227–38–17, e–mail: .

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