Before and during the concert 220 volunteers, mainly students, disseminated 60 thousands flayers about HIV/AIDS, 150 thousands flayers with the information about testing and counseling centers, provided by Kiev AIDS Center, and 49 thousands condoms, provided by TM DUREX. Along with volunteers number of Ukrainian celebrities agreed to participate in condoms distribution.
“I am delighted to announce that on Saturday 16th June 2007 I will be playing to the citizens of Kiev at a free AIDS awareness concert in one of the city's most beautiful squares.
My Foundation has funded twenty-three HIV/AIDS related projects in Ukraine over the last six years totaling over $2.6 million. This concert will enable us to fund future projects for around the same amount. No one envisaged, back in the early '90s, that Eastern Europe would fall prey to such a devastating disease. It is estimated that, by 2014, there will be over one hundred thousand infected children alone of which forty two thousand will be orphaned; there is so much to be done if we are to control the relentless spread of this terrible disease.
Without the close friendship and collaboration of my two very good friends, Elena and Victor Pinchuk and their Foundations, this concert, and our future partnership, would not be possible. I would like to dedicate the concert to them and to the many Ukrainians with HIV/AIDS that they have supported”, - Elton John said.
“The Elton John concert will attract attention of society to HIV/AIDS problem in our country, - Elena Franchuk, the founder of the ANTIAIDS foundation, said. – Today it is not enough to inform about disease and ways of transmission. Today our target is to change the patterns of behavior, to teach the whole country how to live in the epoch of the AIDS epidemic”.
At the end of May the ANTIAIDS Foundation launched the new program “On The Edge”. In the context of this program Elena Franchuk and the Elton John AIDS Foundation united efforts to improve the lives of children involved in the epidemic. ANTIAIDS Foundation pledged a $2,5 million grant for 5 year program. 40 000 children will become full orphans and up to 169 thousand children will lose one of their parents due to AIDS epidemic by 2014. Most of these children will inherit HIV status from their parents. Today in Ukraine 10% of 2, 5 thousand children born by HIV-positive mothers are infected. At the same time in France only 1-2 children per year are infected in such way.
“The majority of people know about AIDS, but they don’t think it could ever be there problem, - Elena Franchuk said during the presentation of the new program “On The Edge”. – That’s why they behave as if they are below the threat. But AIDS is not a distant problem any more. It’s not a problem of risk groups as it used to be. There is no more somebody’s problem, it’s everybody’s problem from now on. It’s not true anymore to think of HIV as a disease of the most at-risk population. We should think of HIV as our disease that affects ourselves, our relatives, our friends and our neighbors. We’re all on the edge”.