1 December, 2006. Kyiv. Ukraine. On the World AIDS Day in Kyiv, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe Mr. Lars Kallings presented the Red Ribbon Award - a check for $ 20.000 – to the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. b_102_77_16777215_00_images_content_news_821.jpg 1 December, 2006. Kyiv. Ukraine. On the World AIDS Day in Kyiv, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe Mr. Lars Kallings presented the Red Ribbon Award - a check for $ 20.000 – to the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.
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1 December, 2006. Kyiv. Ukraine. On the World AIDS Day in Kyiv, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe Mr. Lars Kallings presented the Red Ribbon Award - a check for $ 20.000 – to the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

During the presentation Mr. Kallings thanked the activists of the Network and emphasized: “Determination and self-devotion of people like you gives us a hope that we will celebrate the victory in this struggle”.

The new international AIDS Red Ribbon Award: Celebrating Community Leadership and Action on AIDS was initiated at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto (Canada) on 13-18 August, 2006. The aim of the award is to honour grassroots leadership in fighting the AIDS epidemic.

In 2006 nearly 600 communities around the world were nominated for the Red Ribbon Award. Through a rigorous review process, 25 finalists were chosen: 20 finalists received a monetary prize $ 5,000 each and five outstanding communities chosen, one in each Award category received $ 20,000 each.

The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS is among them, having received the award in the category of Addressing Stigma and Discrimination Related to HIV/AIDS .

Established as a lobby group in 1999 by a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS has since expanded significantly and now works in collaboration with many public institutions. The network lobbies for medical treatment, draws attention to discrimination issues and through a number of diverse activities has been able to serve 14240 people (1677 kids) around the country.

The organization provides both support and opportunities for realization of the potential of people living with HIV,” says Vladimir Zhovtyak, Head of the Network. “They work in day-care centers, self-support groups and community centers helping those affected by the epidemic. Men and women work as equals in our organization.”

An international jury that included Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, actress Naomi Watts, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and pioneering doctor Paul Farmer whittled the 25 finalists down to five, one in each award category.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is leading the Red Ribbon Award, working in partnership with UNAIDS, the Community and Leadership Program Committees of the XVI International AIDS Conference and the governments of Canada, Norway, Austria, Finland and Ireland. Other partners include Care International and UNESCO.

The Red Ribbon Award is a great opportunity to bring communities together that have fought this disease,” said Kemal Dervis, United Nations Development Programme Administrator. “Sometimes they work in extremely difficult situations, in contexts of war or extreme poverty, and yet they have found ways despite these obstacles to make things happen, to generate some real success on the ground.”

More details of the real-life stories of these communities and the challenges they face in responding to the HIV epidemic are available at: www.redribbonaward.org.

For more information please contact Ms. Oksana Skytalinska, UNDP Project on HIV/AIDS Governance in Ukraine, 253-82-90, Oksana.Skytalinska@undp.org.ua , www.undp.org.ua .

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About UNDP: UNDP is the UN's global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working as a trusted partner with Governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Further information can be found at www.undp.org

About UNAIDS: UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organizations to the global AIDS response. Cosponsors include UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Based in Geneva, the UNAIDS secretariat works on the ground in more than 75 countries world wide. www.unaids.org

About the XVI International AIDS Conference: AIDS 2006 is the world’s largest HIV/AIDS conference provides an international, open and independent forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and research which will inform HIV/AIDS programmes and strengthen prevention, treatment and care efforts worldwide. The theme of AIDS 2006 is ‘Time to Deliver’, reflecting the demands of the epidemic for increased accountability from all stakeholders to fulfill commitments made. www.aids2006.com