Volunteers and Eurovision guests joined a flash mob in Kyiv on May 12 dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS. During the event participants held a red stripe, the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV.
Four HIV mobile testing stations have been in operation during the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv at the city’s fan zones on Kontraktova, Poshtova, Sofiivska and Troitska Squares since May 4. The booths that offer free speed testing and doctor’s consultations remained open on May 13 until 10 p.m.
For Ukraine, where 39,885 people have died from AIDS since 1987, this is a critical issue. According to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the charity which organized the testing stations and flash mob, at least 130,410 Ukrainians who live with HIV are currently under medical supervision. Since 2008, the main cause of HIV in Ukraine has been unprotected sex.
The foundation said it hoped to carry out about 5,000 HIV tests and distribute more than 150,000 condoms during Eurovision. The head of its Ukrainian branch Sergyi Fedorov said that not only Ukrainians but also tourists from 30 countries had taken the test, with as many as 13 cases of HIV found.