|© UNICEF Russia/2006|
|A poster from the “I Care About Every Child!” campaign, featuring Russian music artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Oleg Gazmanov.|
MOSCOW, Russia, 26 October, 2006 – A year after the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign began in Russia, a new media campaign called “I Care About Every Child!” has been launched. The campaign, which is aimed at changing biased attitudes to children affected by HIV, was launched on 20 October by the First Deputy Chair of the Security Committee of the State Duma, Mikhail Grishankov.
The face of the campaign is Russian pop singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Oleg Gazmanov. “It is terrifying even to think that we adults make children suffer. Children need our support,” said Mr. Gazmanov, “I hope that my participation in the campaign will contribute to the efforts on changing society's attitude to children and parents facing the HIV problem.”
In Russia, there are more than 350,000 people living with HIV, with 80 per cent of them younger than 30-years-old. Four out of 10 new cases of infections are among women. The number of children born to HIV positive mothers is steadily climbing – today there are about 30,000 of them.
The campaign, which is run by Focus Media and UNICEF, includes video spots, posters, information booklets and postcards. All the materials promote the acceptance of children with HIV into society and the integration of such children into institutions and schools. The campaign has received a full endorsment from the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
“Society’s maturity has always been measured by its attitude to children and elderly,” said Manager of the Focus Media Foundation, Oxana Barkalova. “Russia has to treat people with HIV/AIDS – in particular children – just like the rest of society.”