The supreme Olympic champion and UN goodwill envoy for HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, Lilia PODKOPAIEVA, has established an international charity fund called Health for Generations. The unveiling of the fund marked the launch of the project May There Always Be Me whose goal is to draw the public’s attention to the health problems of the rising generation and HIV/AIDS.
One of the planned events is a marathon spanning all the large HIV/AIDS-affected Ukrainian cities (Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhia, Melitopil, Dzhankoi, Symferopil, Kherson, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Mariupil) which will be held from May 18 to June 3. On June 1, marking Child Protection Day, a gala concert entitled “May There Always Be Me” will be staged at Odesa’s sports and concert complex. The concert is being organized under the aegis of the UN Mission in Ukraine and UNICEF, with support from the Ministry of Family, Youth, and Sports of Ukraine. Stars from the world of sports, circus, ballet, and pop music will take part, along with people representing various art trends, reports the MFYS press service.
THE DAY’S REFERENCE
According to statistics collected by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, 103,572 cases of HIV/AID were recorded in Ukraine in 2005: 89,819 adults and 13,753 children. The State Institute for Family and Youth Problems says that the juvenile addiction rate has increased 6-8 times over the past decade. During the same period the death rate in this group rose by 40 times. Addiction specialists say that children first try drugs at 13-15 years of age, although in some cities the age drops to 9-12, and even 7-8. In some areas of Ukraine (e.g., Donetsk oblast) juveniles comprise 11-13 percent of all addicts. Institute statistics indicate that 99 percent of young people between the ages of 14 and 24 have heard about HIV/AIDS; 53 percent believe that their knowledge about this disease is adequate. Only 14 percent of young people aged 15-24 correctly define ways to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV and know how HIV is not transmitted.