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Anti-AIDS motor rally launched in Belarus

Minsk, 2 October 2006 - On 30 September, a campaign titled “Motor Rally: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise” was launched at the main entrance to the Gorky Park in Minsk. The special motorized campaign is part of the UNDP project “HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment in the Republic of Belarus” that is implemented in cooperation with the Health Ministry and with the financial support of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

For one year, starting this October, a bus, a trolleybus and a tram will ride the streets of the Belarusian capital carrying the logo of the Global campaign “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise”. Passengers will also see the slogan “Find out how to protect yourself and those whom you love!” written on the mass transit vehicles, as well as web-page addresses and a hotline phone number offering links to further AIDS-related information.

“The motor rally represents the kind of action to increase HIV/AIDS awareness that we need more of. It is long-term and accessible by the broad public, that’s why I hope that the task of the action will be successfully achieved. The vehicles that will drive around Minsk will indeed attract the attention of everybody and people will learn how easy it is to get the information they need to protect themselves, their friends and families,” UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, Ms. Cihan Sultanoglu, pointed out.

The bus at the head of the campaign delivered several unusual passengers to the Gorky Park – popular Belarusian singers Aleksandra and Konstantin Niels, Olga Barabanschikova, Aleksander Patlis, the bands “Kliondaik”, “Mekhanika”, and others. During the event, the performers dedicated their songs to people suffering from AIDS. A raffle was also held as part of the event.

“Our idols have pledged to fight AIDS in Belarus, and called all of us to join in,” said the event’s presenter, VJ Vitaliy Malinovski of the First Musical Channel.

The motorized campaign that started in Belarus is a unique project: anyone boarding one of the mass transit vehicles carrying the logo “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise” participates in the project.

Background: The Global campaign “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise” is scheduled to span the years 2005 to 2010. Its objective is to involve as many people as possible, especially the young, in the fight against HIV infection.

For further information please refer to UNDP Communications Associate Vladislav Khilkevich, at 227-38-17, or Public Information Assistant of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment project, Maria Malinovskaya, at 8-029-662-41-84 or 270-73-51.

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