Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Art sparks debate on AIDS in Ukraine

2
MAR
2009

Aids Alliance

Alliance Ukraine hosted two art exhibitions to raise awareness of HIV and human rights issues and to elicit support for children affected by HIV.

‘Human Rights against AIDS’ was held jointly with the United Nations to mark World AIDS Day and the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Exhibits included professional photography, posters, artwork and films from Alliance Ukraine and partner organisations' field programmes. These illustrated cross-cutting HIV and human rights issues including the right to life, development, education and leisure for street children; and the right of access to health services for sex workers, injecting drug users, prisoners and people living with HIV.

The artworks aimed to provoke debate on HIV and human rights challenges in Ukraine. Lively discussions took place on issues such as privacy and disclosure of HIV status and the criminalisation of drug users.

Drama was also used to stimulate discussion on these themes. The theatre forum ‘Children about stigma and discrimination’ used sketches to explore issues around discrimination in the home, workplace and community, and the audience was invited to talk about the issues arising from each performance.

“I am grateful to Alliance Ukraine and the UN that these issues of stigma and discrimination against these most vulnerable groups are presented in a visual, accessible manner,” remarked Elena, one of the participants.

Alliance Ukraine held another exhibition, 'Young Art against AIDS', on New Year’s Eve to raise funds for children living with HIV and to promote greater sensitivity to their situation.

Thanks to the donations of art from young and professional artists and the generosity of private donors and businesses, a significant sum of money was raised and donated to the ‘Treatment Clinic for HIV-positive / AIDS children’ in Ukraine.

The funds raised will improve the quality of life and psycho-emotional wellbeing of children treated in the clinic, particularly those receiving in-patient care. Many of these young patients come from orphanages and shelters and many will stay in the clinic alone, with no guardian or parent.