Getting to zero: World AIDS Day message heard throughout Tajikistan
Reducing the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV was one of the priority topics for this year’s World AIDS Day (WAD) held 29 November to 3 December in Tajikistan.
In a series of radio talk shows dedicated to this year’s theme "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths," Ms Tahmina Haydarova, Head of the Network of Women Living with HIV in Tajikistan led a frank discussion with listeners about her experiences. "Fighting against stigma and discrimination is a major challenge," she explained. "Many people do not have information about the disease and are afraid. Dissemination of key messages on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment is very important to everyone."
The talk shows attracted widespread attention, with listeners calling in from across the country to exchange opinions and pose questions to experts in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
UN-led efforts to raise awareness
Other activities organized by the WHO Country Office in collaboration with other United Nations (UN) agencies in Tajikistan, included
- stage performances by students and volunteers at the Russian Tajik Slavonic University;
- dissemination of handouts on HIV/AIDS prevention led by the Committee on Youth, Sports and Tourism;
- a "Know your status" event for UN staff involving free HIV counselling and testing.
Rewarding public participation
On 17 December, the WHO Country Office awarded prizes to the winners of a radio quiz on HIV/AIDS. In presenting the awards, Dr Pavel Ursu, WHO Representative/Head of WHO Country office stressed again the importance of reducing stigma: "It is crucially important that people living with HIV should not be left aside. We should know how to protect our health and also help those in need."