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By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

1 December 2006 -- Alma Ata, Barnaul, Bishkek, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Kiev, Prague, Riga, Saint Petersburg, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana, Vilnius, Warsaw
Today is December 1, the World AIDS Day.
On this day, we, representatives of 16 NGOs from 15 countries, would like to warn the governments in our region that the world is facing an unprecedented human catastrophe. A quarter of a century into the pandemic, AIDS has inflicted immense suffering on countries and communities throughout the world:

• Every day 14,000 new HIV infections occur, and 8000 people die of AIDS
• So far more than 25 million people have died of AIDS
• 40 million are currently living with HIV
• 15 million children have been orphaned by AIDS
• Half of all new HIV infections are among young people under the age of 25

So called “marginalized groups” are more threatened by the HIV pandemic than the general population. Among them are sex workers. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

"Sex workers are part of the solution in the fight against HIV. And sex workers need workers' rights and human rights in order to fight AIDS."
-- Anna-Louise Crago of Stella, a Montreal-based support group for sex workers at the 2006 International AIDS Conference, Toronto, Canada.

A report released last year warns of HIV crisis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, if policies protecting sex workers and public are not created. It shows that this region experiences one of the fastest-growing and mainly drug use-driven HIV epidemics in the world. It also shows that sex work, drug use, and HIV are inextricably linked. Comprehensive action and greater commitment is critical to prevent the spread of HIV among sex workers and into the general population, says the report produced by Central and Eastern European Harm Reduction Network. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

In addition to translating into national languages and distributing to the media the Swan Statement on The Occasion of the World AIDS Day (see the full text at the beginning of this issue of the News), SWAN members organized a number of public events on and around 1 December. More