16 May, 2005 14:27

In the International Candlelight Memorial Day the journalists had chance to see the real life of HIV-infected people

On May 14th, 2005 on the eve of the International Candlelight Memorial Day Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation together with All-Ukrainian Network of people living with HIV/AIDS conducted the press-tour for journalists dedicated to this date. The main purpose of the event was to provide journalists from different media with information about day-to-day life of HIV-positive people in Ukraine. This day the unusual bus cruised along Kiev streets. There gathered the journalists, specialists on HIV/AIDS and people living with HIV. During this trip they discovered and discussed different life aspects of HIV-infected people and people who have AIDS. The topics to discuss varied from HIV testing to treatment and care of HIV-infected people.
In the International Candlelight Memorial Day the journalists had chance to see the real life of HIV-infected people / Elena Pinchuk Foundation
Author: Dmitry Vandenko | Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation

In the pres-tour, besides journalist, took part: Vladimir Zhovtyak, the head of coordination board of All-Ukrainian network of people living with HIV; Elena Pinchuk , the founder of ANTIAIDS Foundation; Alla Scherbinskaya, the head of Ukrainian center to prevent and fight AIDS; Аlexandr Yurchenko, the director of Kiev’s city AIDS center; Svetlana Komar, the chief of children’s infectious diseases department of №1 hospital; Ludmia Batehina, the deputy director of specialized orphanage for HIV-infected kids (Makeevka city, Donetsk district);  Layma Heidar, the program specialist of information, education and advocacy department of International Alliance on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine; Natalia Podlesnaya, the director of Charitable Foundation SAAPF; Bohdan Zaika, the chief of Community center of All-Ukrainian Network of people living with HIV as well as other specialists representing different Ukrainian NGOs.

The first route point of the press-tour was the Kiev’s city AIDS center. The journalists surveyed the recently repaired clinic and labs and communicated with the doctors and the patients. Six participants of the press-tour got tested on HIV.

At the next meeting that took place in AIDS department of infectious hospital of epidemiology and infectious diseases institute located in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, the journalists saw how the average Ukrainian hospital look like. It was one of the main press-tour goals to describe and to show at what chambers people all over Ukraine stay, who treats them, what they eat and who helps them to survive. Except for the doctors and patients of the hospital the journalists met the specialists of the public organization “Chas juttya +” that is situated in the territory of the hospital.  The cooperation of this HIV-service organization with the doctors is an example of successful combination of doctors’ efforts as well as specialists of non-government organization for granting the assistance to people who need it.

The press-tour was completed with the common dinner where participants of the event were joined by HIV-positive people. In some journalists opinion the informal communication with HIV-positive people impressed them the most. This format of the meetings can do more to change the attitude towards HIV-positive people than any informational materials.

Timing to the International Candlelight Memorial Day, ANTIAIDS Foundation procured and passed as charitable help to AIDS department of Lavra clinic furniture for 2 new chambers, which were just opened  to secure places for additional hospitalization of 6 people (now the hospital has the day-and-night care department for 20 people). The Foundation obtained for the hospital expandable inventory such as (blankets, pillows, mattresses, sheet and so on), required for providing new accommodation-places. The doctors were exulted by the ambulatory installation for germicidal lamps bought by the Foundation.  The previous installation used before in the department appeared here in 1952. The furniture and equipment were obtained by ANTIAIDS Foundation on the request of clinic administration.


The International Candlelight Memorial Day is celebrated annually every third Sunday of May. This Day was made up by several Americans gathered in San-Francisco in 1983 as a token of respect to dead people who they knew and loved. One of the tokens in the memory and solidarity with people suffered from the epidemic is a red ribbon invented by Frank Moore the artists in 1991.  In the Memorial Day there is a tradition to sew quilts– memorable scrappy pictures on the cloth dedicated to the memory of people died of AIDS.  The first quilt in 1987 was sewed by the American Cleave Jhones having dedicated it to his best friend died of AIDS. There is also the tradition to bed the trees of memories counting the years passed from the beginning of AIDS world epidemic. In 2005 it will be 24 years since the first cases of HIV-infection were recorded.

For detailed information, please, contact Pavel Piminov, Communications Director, Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation on e-mail: [email protected]. Contact phone number: +38 (044) 490 4805.

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