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A National Cinema Action dedicated to the World AIDS Day has gathered over 7,500 viewers

Yesterday 17 towns of Belarus hosted a cinema action dedicated to the World AIDS Day. The action included the showing of thematic videos and the feature film And the Band Played On. The event was held in the frameworks of the UNDP project "Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Belarus" funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The film And the Band Played On (starring Richard Gere and Phil Collins), based upon And the Band Played On, a non-fiction book by American journalist Randy Shilts, was selected on purpose: nowadays, when new details emerge every day about the scale of the epidemic that broke out in the late 1980s, when massive resources are expended to fight AIDS and people talk openly about the disease, the film helps to realize how important it is to preserve one's will to live, to unite in the fight against the spread of the epidemic and to support HIV-positive people.

The action took place in Minsk, Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Mogilev, Zhlobin, Kalinkovichy, Mozyr, Svetlogorsk, Bobruisk, Lida, Soligorsk, Pinsk, Osipovichy, Rechitsa, Rogachev and in the urban-type settlement of Oktyabrsky. It was supported by republican, regional, zone-based and municipal centres of hygiene, epidemiology and public health, representatives of local authorities and the Belarusian Red Cross Society. More than 17,000 people – mostly young ones – came to the film shows in 17 towns.

Every film show gathered a full house and was accompanied with a drawing of special prizes: T-shirts, hats and backpacks with the inscriptions “Give your support to HIV+ people”, “Control AIDS” and “Love is against AIDS”. They were awarded to the viewers who gave the best promises to fight AIDS. As a reminder, the World Campaign “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise” that commenced on December 1, 2005 proposes a tangible plan of actions: take an HIV test, give warmth and understanding to HIV-positive people, do not use drugs, go in for sports, be faithful to your partner. The slogan of the action is “It’s difficult to save the entire world, but you can start with saving yourself and the ones you love!”

The action “Give your promise to fight AIDS” took place in the Pobeda cinema located in the capital. On that day the guests of the cinema had an opportunity to see the exhibition “Life with HIV is LIFE!” presented by the NGO “Positive Movement”. Volunteers from the information and education units of the centres of hygiene, epidemiology and public health, and from the Belarusian Red Cross Society took an active part in the action, collected the best promises to fight AIDS, and organized an original flash-mob using a red ribbon – the symbol of the fight against AIDS.

According to official statistics, as of November 1 of this year 10,529 HIV cases were registered in Belarus. Most HIV patients are young people from 15 to 29 years of age.

For more information please contact Maria Malinovskaya, Public Relations Specialist of the project “Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Belarus” at +375-17-299-0787 or +375-29-662-4184, or Vladislav Khilkevich, UNDP Communications Associate in Belarus at +375-17-227-3817.

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