On March 2, the regional UNAIDS campaign #YouAreNotAlone has been launched in Armenia to commemorate #ZeroDiscrimination Day.
The campaign is raising awareness about the stigma and discrimination faced by children, adolescents and families affected by HIV epidemic in region and Armenia.
#YouAreNotAlone campaign features a video developed with the support of UNAIDS Red Ribbon member of Armenia Arusik Mkrtchyan where Armenian celebrities raised the voices of children and young people living with HIV. The names and ages of children are changed in the video to keep the confidentiality.
The campaign has been supported by actors Mkrtich Arzumanyan, Diana Malenko and Sos Janibekyan, TV presenter Lilit Muradyan, Vahe Khanamiryan, Egor Glumov, Sima Baghdasaryan and TV presenter, model, Vice Miss Europe Lusine Tovmasyan.
UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia Shombi Sharp, WHO Representative in Armenia Egor Zaitsev, Deputy
Armen Aghajanov is HIV living person who first time in Armenia publicly opened his HIV status during the launch of #YouAreNotAlone campaign. He said: “People are not dying from HIV, they die from discrimination, late diagnosis, lack of access to treatment or from not taking medicines”
"The goal of the campaign #YouAreNotAlone is to promote solidarity with children, adolescents and families affected by the HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for them to live with safety and dignity," - said Vinay Saldana, UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
"These young people are inspiring and strong," said Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for EECA. “But if people living with HIV must still hide their diagnosis, something is very wrong with society where their human rights and dignity are not respected. Every person living with HIV should feel our support #YouARENotAlone!"
Zero Discrimination Day has been observed every 1st of March since its creation in 2014 and it promotes the protection of human rights and recognition of equity. The symbol of the Day is butterfly which highlights how everyone can be part of the transformation towards a more fair and just society.