Actress Julia Ormond Working With Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS To Raise Awareness of Epidemic in Russia
Actress Julia Ormond this week visited Moscow to meet with politicians, journalists, officials, and people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS to raise awareness of the epidemic, RIA Novosti reports (RIA Novosti, 9/22). The international nongovernmental organization Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS on Tuesday announced Ormond is working with the group to increase visibility, advocate for treatment and prevention policies and destigmatize the disease (TPAA release, 9/20). During her visit -- which was organized by TPAA in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation as part of their joint work on the StopSPID, or "stop AIDS," initiative -- Ormond said efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in Russia must be made across all sectors and discrimination and stigma associated with the disease must be abolished (RIA Novosti, 9/22). With "just one or two percent" of Russia's population estimated to be HIV-positive, the country is "at the crucial point," Ormond said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, adding that AIDS could become an epidemic in the country in a short period of time. "HIV-positive people should not be made untouchables," she said, adding that she hoped Russia could demonstrate to the rest of the world that "given the right approach AIDS can be prevented" (Fedina, Izvestia, 9/21). During her visit, Ormond also participated in MTV Russia's annual Russian Music Awards, where she presented MTV's "Staying Alive" Award to Aleksandra Volgina, an HIV-positive Russian woman who has spoken publicly about her HIV status (TPAA release, 9/21). The award is given annually to an individual or organization that has shown outstanding leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS (TPAA release, 9/20).
An English translation of the interview with Ormond in Izvestia is available online. In addition, a translated transcript of an interview with Ormond and Antonio Maria Costa, U.N. undersecretary general and executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, conducted by Echo of Moscow Radio is available online.