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Tajikistan hosted the high level campaign to draw public attention to HIV and aids issues in society

November 15 2016, Dushanbe, Tajikistan- Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Tajikistan (MoHSPP),The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) andAIDS Infoshare Foundation (Russia) hosted the high level Campaign to support World AIDS Day 2016 “hands up for #HIVprevention” initiative aimed to draw attention of public to the aspects of HIV prevention, harm reduction, testing and others.

Another objective of the event was the handing-over ceremony of the Mobile Diagnostic Complex provided by Russian Federation to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.  It was mentioned that following Mobile Complex will operate in remote mountainous and rural areas of the countryfor testing HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis B and C.

Around 1000 representatives from medical workers, youth, civil society organizations, mass media, representatives of the Ministries, international organizations, communities, celebrities and others actively took part in the Campaign.

Mr. Salimzoda Nusratullo Fayzullo,Minister of Health and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Tajikistan,welcomed all participants and in his opening statementmentioned “Ministry of health and UNAIDS have long term effective cooperation. Thanks to political will and commitment of the leadership of our countryand cooperation with our development partners we could significantly reduce the incidence of infectious diseases, including HIV and AIDS. Tajikistan has recently adopted a set of ambitious targets to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Yet these targets will remain out of reach until the populations most at risk of HIV infections know about their HIV status and have access to critical HIV services.We highly appreciate the contribution of the UNAIDS and Russian Government in improving diagnostics, methods of treatment by providing technical and financial support to our country along with other countries of the Region.”

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Igor Semenovich Lyakin – Frolovin his opening speechhas mentioned “Today's handing-over ceremony of Mobile Complex to Tajik people is an example of thelarge-scale assistance, which is provided by Russian Federation to Tajik people.As experience has shown, the following type of service was extremely in demand by local residents and contributed to the national efforts to halt HIV in the country. During this period,more than 9 000 people passed HIV testing, and all services were provided free. In conclusion, I would like to wish success to all those who will be working with this newMobile Complex."

Mr. Vinay Patrick Saldanha, UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asiastressed: “I am honored to be here for the first time as a Regional Director of UNAIDS forEastern Europe and Central Asiawith my official visit in the framework of such a crowning moment. What we see today is the most bright and clear example of partners’ cooperation. I would like to thank all partners, implementers and the medical workers who came today to support this Campaign.  The role of health-care providers is tremendous,especially during conductingof HIV testing andprovision of consultations to patients.It is time to start speaking openly in Tajikistan about the importance of HIV prevention. Every young man and every woman should know their HIV status. We must do everything to prevent the exclusion and discrimination of people living with HIV.

It should be mentioned that the Campaign was a recurrentevent for bringing senior officials, celebrities, mass media, medical staff and youth together to support HIV-related initiatives in the country. During this event many participants could pass a freeanonymous and confidential HIV testing and get necessary information. By the end of the Campaign many participants engaged expressed their readinessto support national efforts against HIV/AIDS and advocate HIV testing within their local society.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Ulugbek Aminov UNAIDS Country Manager in Tajikistanat: Aminovu@unaids.org or Mr. Bakhtiyor Mirzoev, Advocacy and Communication Officer, UN Joint Advocacy Project on HIV/AIDS in Tajikistan at: Bakhtiyor.mirzoev@undp.org

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