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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 260
December 12, 2005

In this issue:


  • Jonathan Mann Award Ceremony: “Parents Against Drugs” Rewarded for their Work on HIV/AIDS


  • World AIDS Day marked with concert


  • Talking about you and me - Sneak Preview of “Love as a test”, a TV Serial Drama on HIV/AIDS


  • Kyrgyzstan launches the campaign “Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS”


Bishkek, 2 December 2005 - At the Jonathan Mann Award Ceremony a non-governmental organization Public Fund “Parents Against Drugs” received this years’ Jonathan Mann Award for their substantial achievements in HIV/AIDS prevention activities in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The room was filled with applauses of government and international officials when Mr. Chris Lovelace, World Bank Country Manager and Head of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS, announced the winner of the Jonathan Mann Award.

“The Jonathan Mann Award of 1,150 USD is handed out in connection with World Aids Day on the 1st of December in the countries of Central Asia to an individual or institutions which have made a significant contribution to HIV/AIDS prevention work”, Lovelace reminded. “Parents against Drugs has done an outstanding work in this regard”, he said.

Among their various activities, Parents against Drugs provides free medical and social assistance for the population in Osh. The organization also runs a youth information center on narcotics prevention, HIV-infection and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Our organization employs 20 social workers, each of whom serves up to 50 people a day”, Dr. Mamosobir Burkhanov, Director of Parents Against Drugs, said. He underlined: “alarmingly, the number of patients has increased from about 200 people in 2000 up to 1,000 in 2005”.

Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator, noted: “Kyrgyzstan is considered to be a leader in Central Asia in establishing multisectoral approach to HIV/AIDS prevention. But, although a lot has been done in the country, a lot still need to be done.”

When presented with the award, Burkhanov was overwhelmed with emotions. He expressed his gratitude to the UN and mentioned that the money would allow them to step up prevention activities.

The Award Ceremony was concluded by a concert of young people from Bishkek Music Academy.

For additional information please contact Giorgia Varisco, UNAIDS Programme Associate by phone +996 312 611213,


BISHKEK, 1 Dec 2005 (IRIN/PLUSNEWS) - There was tumultuous applause from the audience of more than a thousand following the appearance of popular singers during a charity concert devoted to World AIDS Day on Thursday, in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. The concert was a platform for pop stars to inform and mobilise people, especially the young, in the fight against AIDS.

“The importance of such event is that it informs people, and especially youth, about the HIV/AIDS problem and of course the participation of music stars leads to an increase in people’s interest in this issue, ”Nail Sufiyanov, from the Kyrgyz Alliance of Family Planning, a local NGO, said.

The event was organised by: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund; the United Nations Office for Drug and Crime prevention (UNODC); the United Nations Join programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society; the Kyrgyz government and the NGO Variant Plus.

Despite that fact that Kyrgyzstan has a low prevalence of HIV infection, a steady rise in intravenous drug users and sex workers means infection rates are increasing. According to the Republican AIDS Centre, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in this former Soviet republic of 5.3 million is 807, while unofficial estimates put the figure at ten times that number.

Though the highest-risk group for HIV/AIDS is still injecting drug users, the number of people infected through sex has increased markedly. Today, an estimated 67 percent of newly- registered cases were infected through sexual intercourse.

About 40 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Some three million of them are expected to die of AIDS this year. Africa, with only 10 percent of the world's population, suffers over half of its HIV infections.

Maksat Begaliev, a well-known Kyrgyz pop star, said after his appearance at the concert: “We have to live, it is our city, it is our country and it is our world, we have to stop AIDS.”

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

For more information please contact Mr. Julien Pellaux, UNFPA Communication and Advocacy Officer, +996 312 61 12 02; E-mail:


Bishkek 07 December 2005 - With a TV serial drama about problems and dangers young people face in Kyrgyzstan today the UN addresses fears, indifference and discrimination connected to HIV/AIDS in a very personal way.

A first glance on the serial was presented in a trailer with the key scenes on 07 December to a selected audience of journalists, cinematographers and specialists active in HIV/AIDS prevention communication.

Everything seems fine in the life of Adyl, a student of informatics in Bishkek; a promising future in front of him, a bride who he is to marry soon... But there are some secret things from Adyls past that are bouncing back and putting him and the ones who love him on the biggest test of their life.

“In the end of the film love is the winner over the conflicts”, said Galina Gaparova, scenarist and director of the Children Media Center. She and Rinat Tukhvatshin, who is still a student, won the contest for the best script and were trained in the techniques of story line development for serials by an international Expert of the most popular German TV serial “Lindenstrasse”.

A local film crew of Studio Begim, under the internationally known director Aktan Abdykalykov, carried out the production of the four series, 52 Minutes each. For the main roles the team cast among popular actors also new faces to play the many young characters in the film.

The drama uses the concept of “Entertainment-Education”. By showing the conflicts and problems connected to HIV/AIDS as its dramaturgical context it implicitly conveys information, gives alternative role models and provides a window on risks connected to HIV and AIDS. “More than just dealing with the epidemic the serial is about problems and dangers young people in Kyrgyzstan face today. It is about love, friendship, courage, solidarity. It shows how these human values can strengthen communities and families in a situation that seems to be overwhelmingly difficult and hopeless,” said Michael Unland, mass media specialist of UNDP. In this way the project contributes to the demedicalization of HIV and AIDS.

Entertainment-education as serial dramas or soap operas on TV have been successfully used since 1975 in many countries to boost social change and life skills based learning. Issues brought up are often social problems that affect many people: alcoholism, violence against women, ethnic conflicts, unemployment, racial and class inequalities.

The project is funded by UNAIDS (UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS) through the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan, while the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing it together with the Unit on Coordination and Monitoring in HIV/AIDS in the Prime Ministers Office. The start of the series is being accompanied by a cross media promotion campaign carried out by UNFPA and trainings that were supported by German development foundation InWEnt. The overall budget amounts to 100.000 USD.

For more information please contact Ms. Ainagul Isakova, Head of the Unit on Coordination and Monitoring in HIV/AIDS, Prime Ministers Office, 664155, or Michael Unland, UNV/UNDP Mass Media Specialist, 611213,


Bishkek 24 November, 2005 - Smiling faces of children on more than 150 photos became a symbol of the launch of the global campaign in Kyrgyzstan.

The exhibition emitted a heartfelt inspiration to stop the spread of HIV in the republic where the infection has not reached the general population and the number of affected people is not large as yet. It was a call upon people to enhance their responsibility on protecting themselves and their children as well as to provide support and understanding to all children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Hilarious mood is conveyed by the kids' smiles in the photographs. However, there is also an alarming feeling that this fragile happiness could be easily ruined by a speedily spreading infection – over the last 5 years the number has increased by 14 times in this small Central Asian Republic.

In the evening, young people – students, inmates of children's homes and working children gathered at a thematic concert. They were living through emotions of popular Kyrgyz singers and artists - Adil Chekilov, Yryskeldy, Aktan Isabaev, Kiggaz and others who expressed through their performances their cordial will to protect their own children and all young people of Kyrgyzstan from threats of the world with HIV.

“Let our children live in a world without AIDS” – this has become a motto of the global campaign in Kyrgyzstan. The campaign was not limited to one-day events. It had been preceeded by two TV talk shows in the prime-time on the National Channel that stirred the public's attention.

HIV/AIDS prevention will continue as a programme priority of the Kyrgyz Government, UNICEF and other partners in Kyrgyzstan for the coming five years. The main objective is to prevent the spread of the virus by putting children first in the national agenda, providing all young people with knowledge and skills to protect themselves and establishing youth friendly services throughout the republic.

For more information please contact Ulan Dubanaev, Communication Assistant UNICEF, tel.: +996 312 611224,

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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