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Civil society organizations of Tajikistan strive for making world free of stigma and discrimination

Dushanbe, 27 February 2014- Under the slogan of, “Let’s strive for making our world free of stigma and discrimination”, throughthe initiative of the UN Joint Advocacy Project on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF) in Tajikistan and technical support of civil society organization - “Tajikistan Network of Women living with HIV” series of information sessions and awareness raising activities for the representatives of SCOs and vulnerable groups of population on HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination (S&D)  issues conducted.

In total 50 representatives of SCOs, outreach workers and vulnerable groups of population were discussed the issues on how to overcome S&Dassociated with HIV/AIDS, which exists in the country. Also, presentations on the results of the National Researches on forms of S&Dand main issues of PLHIV associated with these issues sounded.Video clips dedicated to Zero Discrimination Day were demonstrated and  information materials with Zero Discrimination Day messages were disseminated among participants.

Takhmina Haidarova representative from SCO Network of WomenLiving with HIV/AIDS”   emphasizedthat- “Women living with HIV are particularly vulnerable to violations of their rights. The following key factors such ignorance and fear, cultural norms and values, some religious teachings, lack of rights awareness and inaccurate and/or irresponsible media coverage contribute to the incidence and perpetuation of stigma and discrimination in society”.  

Representatives of most-at-risk populations from the districts of the country, who also participated the sessions have mentioned, that  women continue to face discrimination and violence that make them more vulnerable to HIV, that increases the vulnerability of representatives of most-at-risk populations to HIV, as well as to S&D, marginalization and violence.  Participants have mentioned that most people living with or vulnerable to HIV do not know their rights.

Also, participants have mentioned, that in order to fight S&D mass media,    religious and community leaders, community mobilizers and outreach workers should be involved. In particular, awareness-raising campaigns that provide information about rights and laws related to HIV through media have to play an essential role to fight HIV/AIDS related S&D casesin society.

Information:February 27, 2014 through the initiative of the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) the Regional launch of the very first International Day-Zero discrimination Day, was conducted in Tajikistan. “Zero Discrimination” international campaign was launched on 1 December 2013 by Michel Sidibé the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and UNAIDS Global Advocate for Zero Discrimination. In the framework of this campaign, “Zero Discrimination Day” was announced as a new International Day, which will be globally celebrated on 1 March 2014.  The campaign has adopted the butterfly as the transformative symbol for zero discrimination. This new international day provides an additional opportunity to draw attention of society to issues of stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and encourages people to do everything possible in order to achieve zero discrimination goals.

For more information, please contact: Ulugbek Aminov, UNAIDS Country Manager or Bakhtiyor Mirzoev, Advocacy and Communication Officer, UN Joint Advocacy Project on HIV/AIDS in Tajikistan at: Bakhtiyor.mirzoev@undp.org.

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