UNAIDS tribute to President Lula and new campaign mark World AIDS Day in Brazil
December 1, 2010 - More difficult than living with HIV / AIDS is having to cope with prejudice. This is the theme of the campaign against AIDS this year in Brazil, launched today at the Palace of the Chancellery, in commemoration of World AIDS Day. During the ceremony, President Lula da Silva was awarded the "UNAIDS Award for Leadership", prize given in recognition of his contribution to economic and social development and the response to AIDS. The award also recognizes the role of President Lula da Silva in the construction of social justice through poverty alleviation and acceleration of the country's progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
The executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS, UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, emphasized the role of President Lula for development. "President Lula is a leader whose bold action on AIDS has changed lives around the world. He is a partner to developing nations, stands up against discrimination and a remover of barriers", he said.
According to a research on the behavior of the population, despite the knowledge of correct ways to prevent HIV / AIDS, prejudice and discrimination against people living with HIV / AIDS are still prevalent in Brazilian society. Often, after a positive diagnosis, people with HIV / AIDS have to deal with a situation of exclusion in the labor market and in social life. Unfortunately, there is a perception that people living with HIV / AIDS are second class citizens. The stigmatization of HIV positives leads to the isolation of these people, who become afraid to talk about the serology, as well as become concerned with preventing people with whom they interact.
By registering the largest number of casual partners - 14.6% of young people had more than five potential partners - the campaign this year in Brazil will focus on young people between 15 and 24 years of age. According to the Ministry of Health, although they use condoms more frequently, there isn´t a consistent use among young people - after the first sexual intercourse, condom use decreases from 61% to 50% in casual relations.
Under the slogan "AIDS does not have prejudice. You also shouldn´t have it", the campaign involves a photographic exhibition featuring 15 young people living with HIV / AIDS and nationally recognized artists. The images represent the intimacy, closeness and solidarity, proving that love, affection and respect, do not transmit HIV.
The aim of the campaign, coordinated by the Department of STD / AIDS and viral hepatitis, of the Ministry of Health, and UNAIDS, is to reinforce the theme of solidarity with people living with HIV / AIDS and to put an end to prejudice, discrimination and stigma against them. The idea is to give greater visibility to the issues of living with HIV / AIDS and to show they can work, study, practice sports, go out and have sex with a condom, like everyone else, and that the hardest part of living with HIV / AIDS is having to cope with prejudice. The campaign will also feature posters, brochures and advertising material to air in TV channels, Internet, and radio.
The Brazilian Health Ministry also launched the AIDS Epidemiological Bulletin and awarded the eight youngsters winners of the literary conquest "Lives Chronicles", which this year had as its theme the daily lives of people living with HIV. The stories, all real, will be used as a basis for the editing of three special publications of the National STD / AIDS Department of the Ministry of Health. To celebrate the World AIDS Day, UNAIDS also launched a series of special publications in Portuguese on the subject.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is part of UNAIDS and supports governments in their efforts give a response to AIDS.