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International Motor Race “STOP-AIDS!” Finishes in Minsk
6 October 2008 – A charity gala–concert of the international motor race “STOP–AIDS!” took place yesterday in the centre of Minsk, with Belarusian and Russian singers participating. The motor race, which started on 27 August in Moscow, went through the cities of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus.
The first 2007 Russian action “STOP–AIDS” was included into the Russia’s national report on the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, which was presented for the UN General Assembly. The “STOP–AIDS!” project is aimed at consolidating the efforts of representatives of federal and municipal authorities, NGOs, charity foundations, journalists, physicians, teachers, artistic elites, and people living with HIV. The objective of the project is to draw the attention of the widest public to the problem of AIDS, develop the youth’s positive attitude to a healthy life style, increase tolerance to HIV–infected people. The Belarusian part of the motor race included a number of workshops and seminars for physicians, lectures for students, a round–table discussion for representatives of state, international and public organizations.
The open–air concert in Minskwas the culmination of the international action programme. The event was arranged under the financial support of the “Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Belarus” project implemented by the UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Belarus. Shortly before the concert, a press conference was held, where Deputy Minister of Health Valentina Kachan stressed the importance of HIV spread prevention, and expressed gratitude to the action organizers and participants.
“We shouldn’t stop speaking about the ways HIV is transmitted”, said Alexei Lysenkov, one of the concert participants. “Despite the availability of this information, there are still people who believe that HIV is transmitted through biting or household settings. Another important moment is that the epidemic is leaving the risk groups. I have conducted thousands of interviews, and the majority of them started with the words “I have never thought it would touch me”. And, finally, promotion of healthy life style is the third direction we have to work in. Regular health tests should grow a habit with the youth”.
Alexei Lysenkov called upon mass media to present the AIDS theme more properly. He says that the slogan ‘AIDS is the Plague of the XX Century’ had an exploded bomb effect, but now it is time to restore the destroyed house bit by bit. In many cases, media continue their destructive work instead of helping to stop the epidemic. Alexei Lysenkov brought as an example a story about an HIV–infected girl who had to leave her native town after a number of publications in the local media.
AIDS knows no borders, and music has no borders either, said the Russian musicians who have been sharing their home on wheels with people living with HIV. Now, after the motor rally is finished, Yulia Chicherina and the “End of the Movie” band leader Evgeniy Feklistov consider an idea, which was born on the way, to join in creating a clip on the motor rally theme. The clip will be designed with a red ribbon – the symbol of the fight against AIDS.
On that day, Yulia Chicherina and Vlad Topalov, the “End of the Movie” and “The Day of Radio” bands, the “Aleksandra and Konstantin” duet were singing about love and understanding, about the road called ‘life’ where one can get lost so easily without the right guidelines, and how important it is to hold together and support each other on the way. Although the “J:Mors” band had also announced its participation in the action, it did not perform because of the bad quinsy of its leader Vladimir Pugach. Yet all members of the band decided to get tested for HIV, thus supporting the main idea of the motor rally – care about own health and that of the relatives.
After the concert, the motorcade left for Moscow.
For detailed 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) 222 65 47.
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