Tajik youth speak out on World AIDS Day

Bahtiyor Mirzoev

Student performance for World AIDS Day 2012 at Russian-Tajik Slavonic University
The theme of World AIDS Day 2012 was “Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.” Highlighting the need for greater action to achieve these goals, a series of awareness and social activities were organized at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University (RTSU) in Dushanbe on 3 December 2012.

Through various student-led performances involving both teachers and students, the young people at the University expressed their own voice, passion and strong will to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The United Nations (UN) Joint Advocacy Project on HIV/AIDS in Tajikistan, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the WHO Country Office in Tajikistan supported the day’s activities, which included a performance by the Tajik Youth Theatre on “HIV/AIDS and Migration”, led by the well-known Tajik producer Mr Shodi Soleh.

During the awareness-raising campaign at the University, Ms Fatima Dzugaeva, coordinator of cultural events at RTSU, underlined: “Youth is the most vulnerable, and should be considered one of the most important, parts of society. Young people are our future and they should be aware that their health, particularly with respect to HIV/AIDS, is in their own hands. They also need to serve as an example to others!”

Akram, a second-year RTSU student and active participant of the performances, added: “HIV/AIDS is a very serious disease, and we should know how to protect our health and help those in need. We must not forget those in need, since we are also responsible for them!” Through his performances he hoped to inspire young people in Tajikistan to contribute to ongoing efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.