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23.11.07

On November 22, 2007, at 04:00 p.m., a newly staged play called Everything is in Your Hands was shown in the Maneken Theatre in Chelyabinsk.

The performance was prepared under the Life with the + Sign Program implemented by the Take Care of Yourself Chelyabinsk City Charity Foundation, the BASEMENT Centre (Moscow) with assistance from the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Social Development of the Chelyabinsk Oblast, and financial support from the Russian Health Care Foundation.

The performance was free of charge. Spectators, including officials from the Chelyabinsk Oblast Administration, school children, adults and children living with HIV, heartily welcomed the premiere and stood up to applaud.

We brought together children from two worlds - those from boarding institutions and from well-to-do families, says M. Grishin, Member of the Government Panel on HIV/AIDS Control. In a suburban guest house, we accommodated for a week children from Orphanage # 6, Boarding School # 13 and children from various ordinary schools of the city who attend the Perspective Centre. The evolvement of their relations had not been simple due to stereotypes existing in either of the two sides.

M. Grishin: The performance is a story about contemporary Romeo and Juliet. They met and fell in love with each other, but their happiness was short. Romeo finds out that he is HIV-positive. The news soon reaches a broad range of his acquaintances. Some of his former friends are repelled from him as if he were a leper, and demand that he should be immediately thrown out of the school. Others feel sympathetic. At the end of the play, he is not left alone with his ailment. His loving Juliet stretches her hand to help him.

This is another reminder of the fact that nobody is immune to HIV. Any of us can face this woe. And the first step to put an end to discrimination of HIV-infected people is to offer help.

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21.11.07

Today, at 02:00 p.m., the Perm Kray Administration hosted a press-conference, with V. Pozner acting as its moderator. The press-conference was also attended by M. Grishankov.

Answering journalists questions, V. Pozner noted: At present, the infection is spreading primarily among heterosexual populations. All population categories belong to the risk group, and it is not correct to affirm that only injection drug users, commercial sex workers and MSMs are infected with HIV.

At 04:00 p.m., the Time to Live! Talk Show was recorded in Perm to be broadcast later. V. Pozner: We are facing a peculiar situation: the government, on its part, has made a gigantic step forward to address the HIV/AIDS problem. I mean its actions under the National Priority Health Project. Enormous amounts of financial resources are allocated from the countrys budget for these purposes. A significant input is also made by the Russian Health Care Foundation. Now, each patient in need of antiretroviral treatment can have it for free. So, funding and drugs are available, but do they help to address other HIV-related problems? What about HIV-associated discrimination in kindergartens. Are there any changes in public awareness and attitude to HIV-infected people? These and many other issues were discussed during the Time to Live! Talk Shaw. The discussion participants included M. Grishankov, Chairman of the State Dumas Security Committee, Member of the Government Panel on HIV Control, officials from the Perm Kray Administration, Yu. Utkin, Deputy Chairman of the Government, A. Zurabov, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, K. Khafizov, Chief Physician of the Perm Kray AIDS and Communicable Disease Control Centre, representatives from the non-commercial sector, PLWHA and mass media.

Funding for the Perm Time to Live! Talk Shaw was made available by the Russian Health Care Foundation.

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20.11.07

I. Varentsov, Program Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation, is participating in the preparation of a Time To Live Talk Show to be broadcast on December 9, 2007 at 07:00 - 06:00 p.m. through the Ural-Inform TV Channel. Alongside with this, he had a meeting with K. Khafizov, Chief Physician of the Perm Kray AIDS and Communicable Disease Control Centre to review the progress of the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation in the Perm Kray.

This Regional AIDS Centre is experiencing a number of difficulties primarily associated with the absence of premises needed to provide a wider scope of services, including those to accommodate an inpatient facility which would enable to provide palliative care to HIV-infected patients at the terminal stage of the disease and, a dentists office. There is also a need to strengthen cooperation with the law enforcement bodies and the Department of the Federal Service for Drug Trafficking Control to improve outreach work with such high risk groups as commercial sex workers and injection drug users.

According to Dr. Khafizov, a new building is under construction, the civil works are funded from the regional budget, and the new premises are expected to home the AIDS Centre in the 2nd quarter of 2008. Currently, 493 HIV-infected patients, including 325 prisoners, are treated owing to the funding from the Russian Health Care Foundation. The Regional AIDS Centre serves as a basis to implement a project aimed at supporting multi-professional teams to provide counselling, stimulate and maintain antiretroviral therapy adherence. On-going negotiations with the Federal Service for Drug Trafficking Control are meant to identify possibilities to implement harm reduction projects (outreach projects) for vulnerable groups (IDUs and CSWs).

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15.11.07

On November 15, 2007, an oblast-level conference is to be held in Yekaterinburg to discuss the most critical issues in the area of HIV control. The Conference will be opened by V. Klimin, Minister of Health of the Sverdlovsk Oblast. It will bring together lead Russian HIV/AIDS specialists, scientists, and physicians, including V. Pokrovsky, Director, Federal AIDS Centre, V. Belyaeva, A. Kravchenko, and Y. Sidykova, research officers from the Federal AIDS Centre. A. Podymova, Chief Physician, Sverdlovsk Regional AIDS Centre will make a presentation at the Conference.

The Conference will discuss such aspects as continuity of HIV care through cooperation among physicals of different specialties, patient management at the pre-care and follow-up stages, as well as HIV prevention and treatment in the Sverdlovsk Oblast.

Special attention will paid to the theme of HIV and children, including monitoring and treatment of children born of HIV-infected mothers, perinatal HIV prevention, TB prevention among children born of HIV-infected mothers, and medical care for HIV-positive pregnant women.

In 2007, under the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation, the Russian Health Care Foundation supplied the Sverdlovsk Oblast with drugs for PLWHA worth of over Rub 28 million, and financed projects in support of multi-professional teams for counselling, and adherence stimulation and maintenance for HIV patients under antiretroviral therapy; development of direct non-medical services for PLWH; establishment of social bureaus for released prisoners living with HIV/AIDS; and improved CSW outreach projects.


13.11.07

A filming screw of the Time to Live! TV Talk-Show has arrived in the capital of the Perm Kray. The talk-show is meant to increase the visibility of HIV/AIDS problems, and is hosted by V. Pozner, President, Russian TV Academy; he will arrive in Perm in the middle of the next week.
The Time to Live! Tele-Marathon is the first Russian long-term socially-focused TV project highlighting HIV/AIDS issues in Russian regions. It is unique in its intention to show region-specific HIV/AIDS problems, and to identify the most painful issues for each city and region. The regional focus of the Tele-Marathon makes it possible to draw attention of authorities and broad public to HIV/AIDS and to catalyze more proactive response on the ground to slow down the epidemic spread.

The Perm Kray will be the 21st destination point of the Tele-Marathon. For the first time, the Time to Live! Talk Show was broadcast on December 1, 2004, through the 1st TV Channel.

On November 21, 2007 (Wednesday), V. Pozner will have a press-conference to inform mass media about the Time to Live Tele-Marathon, its key objectives and to answer journalists questions.

At 07:00 p.m., the Talk Show will be shot. It will be attended by M. Grishankov, First Deputy Chair, Security Committee, State Duma, Member, Government Panel on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment, senior officials of the Perm Kray Administration, medical specialists, representatives from non-commercial organisations, PLWHA and mass media.

The Time to Live Tele-Marathon was initiated by Vladimir Pozner and a group of international and Russian non-commercial organisations involved in HIV/AIDS control. Financial and organisational support to the Tele-Marathon is provided by the PSI Foundation and the Russian Health Care Foundation.

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12.11.07


Non-governmental organisations of the Tyumen Oblast will establish an HIV/AIDS Consortium. This information was furnished by Elena Utyuganova who heads the Prevention Department of the Tyumen Regional AIDS and Communicable Disease Centre.

As noted by Elena Utyuganova, "the overall goal is to set up a consortium of non-commercial organisations to collectively address HIV prevention needs ". The consortium will include the Life Together Charity Foundation, Generation NGO designated to fight against drug use, Revival Charity Foundation, rehabilitation centres in Tyumen and the Oblast Students Alliance. The first meeting will be hosted by the Regional AIDS and Communicable Disease Centre.

Elena Utyuganova also notes that the decision to establish such a consortium was adopted upon discussion during the Roundtable dedicated to Partnership between Civil Society and Public Authorities in the Area of AIDS and Communicable Disease Prevention and Control which was held as part of the Russian National STOP AIDS Car Marathon funded by the Russian Health Care Foundation.

The Tyumen Oblast is one of the six regions which joined the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation in 2007.

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08.11.07

On November 5 - 9, 2007, the Federal AIDS Centre and the Russian Health Care Foundation will hold a joint training seminar on HAART Administration and Adherence among Drug-Addicted Prisoners.

The training is meant for specialists from the six participating regions of Year 3 (Ivanovo Oblast, Primorsky Kray, Tyumen Oblast, Republic of North Osetiya, Moscow Oblast, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District/Yugra) to train trainers in HIV treatment in prisons.


07.11.07

On November 7, 2007, lead local and international monitoring and evaluation specialists from governmental and non-governmental organisations, specialists from Regional AIDS Centres and regional HIV/AIDS financial monitoring specialists met at a Conference in Moscow which will be underway till November 9.

The Conference would help to strengthen the existing system to monitor and evaluate the national response to the HIV epidemic in the Russian Federation.

During the two days, its participants will present and discuss the following issues:
- recent global trends in monitoring and evaluation of the HIV/AIDS situation and response;
- Russian experience in monitoring and evaluation of the HIV/AIDS situation and response;
- existing practices of data collection for epidemiological and behavioural surveillance of the most vulnerable populations;
- results of systematic monitoring and evaluation of federal and federal district level programs and HIV-AIDS-related financial monitoring in Russia.

Yulia Brodskaya, Program Coordinator from the Russian Health Care Foundation, will make a presentation about the contribution of the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation into the national monitoring and evaluation system development.


06.11.07

The Sverdlovsk Oblast AIDS Centre hosted a training seminar for technical personnel of AIDS Centres with a focus on Tolerance to HIV-Infected People.

The idea to offer such training was prompted by life itself: technical staffs yet unanswered questions, and real situations arising from their routine communication with patients. The seminar showed that technical staff of the AIDS Centres was concerned about the same questions as ordinary people not directly affected with HIV/AIDS:
is it possible to get infected through a mosquito bite?
is it dangerous to communicate with HIV-infected people in day-day life?
how to behave to avoid HIV infection, etc..

Overall, the training attained its objective: to alleviate the tension of technical staff in relation to HIV-infected people. It is such tension (due to myths and fears) which has become the reason for non-tolerant attitude to patients of the Centre. All the participants received published information on HIV prevention, ways of its transmission and treatment.

In 2007 - 2008, this Regional AIDS Centre will deliver trainings in development of direct non-medical services for people living with HIV/AIDS, and telephone peer counselling, under the GF-funded Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation. The trainings will take place in the cities of Yekaterinburg and Pervouralsk.


02.11.07

Tough measures to stop the spread of drug use are urgently needed as part of the response to the AIDS epidemic, stated G.G. Onishchenko, Chief Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation. He visited Irkutsk to participate in the regional meeting of senior officials from entities subordinated to the Federal Oversight Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare in the Siberian Federal District to discuss training of health specialists.
According to Gennady Onishchenko, the Oblast is one of the ten regions with the highest HIV prevalence rates. These ten regions account for 60% of all people living with HIV in Russia. Unfortunately, the Irkutsk Oblast has been in the lead among Russian regions with the spread of this infectious disease, during the recent five years, notes Gennady Onishchenko.
The Chief Sanitary Physician deems it necessary for the Irkutsk Oblast to set up a new regional institution capable of addressing HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment issues in an effective and efficient manner.

As a reminder, since 2006, the Irkutsk Oblast has been participating in the Program: Promoting a Strategic Response to HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care for Vulnerable Populations in the Russian Federation implemented by the Russian Health Care Foundation. The Regional AIDS Centre was provided with: antiretroviral drugs and laboratory equipment for HIV/AIDS treatment; assistance in the delivery of prevention activities and outreach services for the most vulnerable social groups (such as injection drug users, commercial sex workers and men having sex with me); training in HIV/AIDS treatment, care and support; and other aid. In 2007, the Russian Health Care Foundation supplied the Regional AIDS Centre with antiretroviral drugs for 2,050 patients.

The Irkutsk Oblast is the only Russian region where the staffing schedule of the Oblast Administration includes such a position as the Drug Use Control and HIV Prevention Advisor to the Governor which held by P. Pavel Tsikolin, Director, A Step Forward to Help You, Irkutsk Regional NGO, providing social and legal support to PLWHA.


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