Adolescents with HIV spoke at a press conference in Akmola region


May 13, 2022

I found out about my HIV status in grades 3-4 when I was nine years old, but at the same time I was prepared for this from the very childhood, they explained everything in a childish way “like” dragons or blood features and so on, because we need to take drugs,” says activist, teenager with HIV Rakhim Saparov.

On May 11, 2022, a press conference was held at the Regional Communication Service of the Akmola Region dedicated to the World Day of Remembrance of People Who Died of AIDS.

According to the chief physician of the Akmola Regional Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS Kurmanbek Burmaganov, the slogan of the Memorial Day in 2022 is “We remember! We are acting! We are more than HIV!” carries an important message to the whole society. “We remember those whose lives have been taken by HIV, we are working to reduce the number of new HIV cases, by raising public awareness of transmission routes, prevention measures and the availability of prevention programs for key populations, we know that people living with HIV is more than their disease,” summed up the head physician.

For four months of this year, 39 cases were detected in the region, for the same period of 2021, 38 cases. In total, as of April 30, 2022, 947 people are living with HIV-positive status in the region. The largest number of cases in the current year falls on the population aged 40-49 years, the share of which amounted to 35.9% of the total number of cases.

According to Gulmira Sirazhidenova, the center's epidemiologist, sexual transmission of HIV infection has been growing in recent years, which amounted to 76.9%, last year it was 68.4%. These indicators indicate that HIV infection has gone beyond the so-called "key populations" and is spreading among the ordinary population.

At the press conference, not only medical workers spoke, but, for the first time in the region, adolescents living with HIV, Rakhim Saparov and Aida Muravyova, who told their personal stories, shared their views on the problem of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, in Kazakhstan.

According to the speakers, they have never encountered open stigma and discrimination, but they have come across people who are not sufficiently informed about HIV.

“I would like to share a story that happened to me recently ... in the biology lesson we went through the topic of HIV and AIDS, STIs, and I was very surprised how the teacher presented the information, when he spoke, he used such phrases as “people with HIV are dangerous”, “ after the stage of AIDS, he dies "I was very excited" - Aida shares.

In addition, on May 12-13, 2022, the center will hold actions with the population on the territory of the Railway Station, the Kopa Lake Embankment, the Central City Park and the market, where everyone can find out their HIV status within 20 minutes and get expert advice. More details about the venue of the event can be found on the official page of the Akmola AIDS Center Instagram account @akmaids on the day of the event.

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