First ever mass campaign on HIV/AIDS prevention among student youth launches in Ukraine

12:48, 16 April 2008
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Ukraine takes the first place in Europe by the rate of HIV/AIDS epidemic expansion. Almost 90 % of HIV-infected citizens of Ukraine are young people of reproductive and working age – 15-49 years old.

According to a press-release, forwarded to UNIAN by ICF “International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine, from April 15 till May 23, 2008, 15 thousand students of 50 higher educational establishments in Kyiv, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk will be able to get free anonymous consultations and undergo rapid testing for HIV in their colleges. At the same time 100 thousand young people will receive prophylactic information on the ways of HIV transmission, and free condoms.

It is expected that this first in the history of Ukraine mass project, implemented by ICF ‘International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine’ with the support of Levi Strauss Foundation will lay the basis of systematical changes in students’ lives motivating safer behavior and resulting in decline of new cases of HIV-infecting among youth in Ukraine. Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Ministry of Health of Ukraine are project partners from the governmental side.

‘The reality is that HIV and AIDS exist and young people have unprotected sex and often don’t know their HIV status. This puts themselves at terrible and unnecessary risk. In Ukraine, HIV is spreading at an alarmingly fast rate and we feel strongly that we have a responsibility to raise awareness of an issue which is affecting the country’s young population. – says Mike Joubert, Vice President Marketing, Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and North Africa; Trustee of the Levi Strauss Foundation.

With an impressive 155-year history built on strong values, Levi Strauss & Co. supports the Levi Strauss Foundation`s work in the community and celebrates youthful spirit and freedom of expression by actively taking a stand on big issues like HIV and AIDS. By consistently doing our bit to create public awareness through initiatives such as the HIV Testing Program for Youth and the Levi`s® World Aids Day, we are mobilising our resources and the Levi’s® brand to prevent the spread of the disease in Ukraine’ – adds Mike Joubert.

‘Students of Kyiv, Odesa and Dniproperovsk will get free access to HIV-testing with rapid tests, consultations and information. This project unites government, NGOs, business, 50 higher educational establishments and… 100 thousand students. We haven’t had any such projects in Ukraine yet. I am sure, that together we can make preventive work more effective!’ – points out Andriy Klepikov, Executive Director of the Alliance Ukraine.

You may get more information on the project implementation and project activities schedule in specific educational establishments calling contact persons in resource centers of Kyiv, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk:

· Kyiv: Information Resource Center on HIV/AIDS in Kyiv,

Daryna Bogdan, Cell: (066) 133 88 38.

· Odesa: Information Resource Center on HIV/AIDS in Odesa,

Olena Karmazina, Cell:  (067) 917 60 15.

· Dnipropetrovsk: Information Resource Center on HIV/AIDS in Dnipropetrovsk,                                     Tetyana Kladieva, Cell: (066) 191 40 51.

 

For your information:

ICF ‘International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine’ (Alliance Ukraine) – the biggest non-governmental organization that works in the field of HIV response in Ukraine. Most activities on prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the country are provided with the support of the Alliance Ukraine – over 200 thousand representatives of the most vulnerable to HIV-infection groups covered by prevention programmes; 5300 or 65% of HIV-positive patients in Ukraine nowadays receive highly active antiretroviral therapy with medications procured by the Alliance Ukraine. The programmes are implemented in all regions of Ukraine – more than 400 medical institutions are the recipients of medicines and medical laboratory supplies, 150 organisations are being provided with financial and technical support. Owing to three big programmes implemented by the Alliance Ukraine with the support of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United States Agency for International Development, most expected result was achieved – mortality growth rate from AIDS in Ukraine began to decrease. You may receive more information on the Alliance Ukraine activities on the official web site: www.aidsalliance.org.ua

Established in 1952, the Levi Strauss Foundation has three global giving areas where it seeks to have the most significant impact to alleviate poverty among women and youth. These are: building assets among the unemployed; preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS; and improving the working and living standards of garment workers across the globe. In Ukraine, the Levi Strauss Foundation started its grantmaking program in the field of HIV/AIDS in 2007. For more information, visit www.levistrauss.com/citizenship

Levi Strauss & Co. partners in Ukraine with ‘Ultra-Jins ltd’ company – exclusive distributor for Levi`s® brand.  ‘Ultra-Jins ltd’ has been established on the territory of Ukraine in 1996, operating with retail sales of modern fashionable clothes. Since 2005 ‘Ultra-Jins ltd’ has become the official distributor of the Levi`s® brand in Ukraine initially opening two stores. Today ‘Ultra-Jins ltd’ owns and operates 13 Levi`s® Stores and manages 8 authorized dealers stores. ‘Ultra-Jins ltd’ always supports Levi Strauss & Co. at the initiatives dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic and to stopping the spread of the HIV virus.

 

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