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Head and Employees of the UN Office in Belarus Take HIV Tests

The action “I have taken an HIV test!” with the participation of Mr. Antonius Broek, UN Resident Coordinator/ UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, and employees of UN agencies has taken place today within the framework of the information campaign “The Red Line. Let’s Stop AIDS Together!”

The objective of the event timed to International AIDS Memorial Day was to draw public attention to the issues of HIV and AIDS. By participating in the action, UN representatives honored the memory of those who had died from the disease. It should be noted that this is the first time such an action has taken place in Belarus. During the event, the method of express testing forHIV was used. It allows obtaining a result within a few minutes of taking the test.

There are a number of reasons why one needs to know their HIV status. A timely diagnosis of HIV infection allows preventing the transmission of the virus during pregnancy. It is not rare that a person is afraid of taking an HIV test while discovering various suspicious symptoms. A negative test result will calm such a person down, and a positive result will allow taking timely measures in order to protect their friends and relatives and to start treatment. Knowing one’s HIV status can influence all aspects of one’s life and make one adopt less risky behavior.

Today, famous people all over the world publicly take HIV tests, as they are aware of the need to support their declared slogans by setting a personal example. Thus, President of South Africa Jacob Zuma took an HIV test in order to support the government’s programme on fighting AIDS. Head of State hopes that his deed will be conducive to an open discussion of the AIDS topic in South Africaand all over the world.

In Belarus, the slogan “Take an HIV Test!” is one of the messages of the Star Team of artists, musicians and sportsmen that was put together to fight AIDS under the aegis of the UNDP in 2007. TV–hostess Lyusya Luschik, a member of the Star Team, publicly took an HIV test to attract attention to the problem of AIDS.

For reference: The information campaign “The Red Line. Let’s Stop AIDS Together!” is conducted under the grant of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria implemented by the UNDP together with the Ministry of Healthcare and entitled “Ensure Universal Access of the Key Affected Populations in Belarus to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care”. The campaign aims to promote tolerant attitude towards people living with HIV, inform the public about the problem of AIDS, and popularize family values as a means of protection from HIV.

For additional information, please contact the press–service of the Global Fund at 017–299–0787 or 029–164–2356.

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