The World AIDS Day was celebrated for the 30th time this year. The initiative was aimed to increase the people’s awareness of this dangerous disease and was organized by public health officers for the World Health Organization Global Aids Program, James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter.
Since 1996, a new UN AIDS/HIV program has been launched, and the World AIDS Day moved on a whole new level. On December 1, special events dedicated to the protection against the disease often known as the 20th-century plague are organized globally, with the aim of increasing the people’ awareness and prevention regarding AIDS. These events are also arranged in Russia. This year, one of the events was organized by the Durex-KHL partnership.
On June 27, 2018, Durex and the KHL announced to have formed a partnership and a new, big social project whose primary goal is raising the public awareness of sexual health issues and countering the spread of HIV and AIDS in Russia. As a sport that attracts millions of fans, hockey is an excellent mean for bringing this awareness to a whole new level. “This is a great priority for us as a socially responsible company, and it is important for us to regularly share our knowledge as our main objective is to help people take care of their health and make them happier”, said Igor Radakovic, director of Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare in Russia, after the announcement of the new Durex-KHL partnership.
The KHL-Durex collaboration, marked with the “A hockey generation for HIV protection” slogan, started from the first regular-season game and will proceed until the end of the season. Fans are already accustomed to the campaign logo, which can be seen on KHL arenas’ ice during TV-broadcasted games. KHL stars participated in a clip, also visible during TV-broadcasted games.
This year, the Ministry of Health of Russia organized the All-Russian action on free anonymous rapid HIV testing “HIV Test: Expedition.” The KHL and its clubs actively supported the action. The first club to support the effort was HC Sochi, on October 8, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. During the KHL game against Vityaz, more than 100 people – including a few HC Sochi players – underwent the test in special mobile stands.
On November 30, similar actions were in place in Kazan, at the Ak Bars – Lokomotiv game. The “Test to win” action at the Tatneft Arena was organized by the no-profit organization “New Century” and the Ak Bars club itself, with help from the Ministry of Health of Tatarstan and the AIDS Center.
For the World AIDS Day, Durex and the KHL organized a full-scale action with all the teams playing games on December 1. Players from 14 KHL teams hit the ice with a distinctive logo. The main events were organized at the CSKA Arena, where fans flooded the place to watch the always-popular Moscow Derby between CSKA and Spartak.
The day before, rival clubs united to film a clip dedicated to the fight against AIDS. “It’s time to open your eyes and take action” was the main thought expressed by Sergey Tolchinsky, Greg Scott, Gleb Shashkov, Artyom Voronin, and Maxim Tsyplakov. Knowledge and awareness are the primary weapons against the HIV.
In the arena’s foyer, fans could undergo rapid HIV testing, while volunteers distributed information materials with the logo of the campaign. Also, a photo-zone with the campaign logo was organized there, and the fans had a chance to get their photo printed right after the shooting.
The testing was conducted by the staff of the Ministry of Health and the Research Institute of Phthisiopneumology and Infectious Diseases of the Ministry of Health of Russia. During the game, about 70 people underwent HIV testing.
KHL and Durex call to join the A hockey Generation for HIV Protection campaign and help others to open their eyes and take action sharing their views on social networks using the official campaign hashtag: #forHIVprotection.