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Russia Records 1,300 AIDS Cases in Four Months

Russia Records 1,300 AIDS Cases in Four Months" Xinhua News Agency (06/04/97) Russia's deputy health minister announced Wednesday that approximately 1,300 AIDS cases were reported in the country between January 1 and April 30 of this year. This figure is equal to the total number of cases recorded in Russia in all of 1996. Since 1987, when the first AIDS case was reported in Russia, 4,226 cases of HIV infection have been registered, 180 of which have died.

In the end of July 1997 the Festival of Gay/Lesbian Culture "RAINBOW" will take place in Moscow.

This is only the second Festival in 6 years (the first one was held in July, 1991). The initiators of the Festival are non-profit Gay organization "Center Triangle", non-profit Moscow Lesbian organization, Gay clubs "Shance" and "Three Monkeys". During the Festival there will be the following events:

  • Gay/Lesbian Movie Festival
  • Photo Exebition of Gay/Lesbian Artists
  • Concerts with Rock and Pop Stars
  •    Carnival
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    !!!!New Russian Penal Code!!!!!!!

    New Russian Penal Code came into legal force on January 1st, 1997. The homosexuality is no longer a crime! The age of consent is set at 16 years regardless of sexual orientation. The new Code is no discriminatory any more and the only specific mention of homosexuality is made in Article 132 criminalising gay/lesbian violation (rape), providing nevertheless the same punishment as for the heterosexual rape - the same thing for all "sexual crimes", either "gay" or "straight". Article 122 criminalising intentional infection with AIDS with imprisonment from 5 to 8 years was added to the Code. In spite of the general belief abroad, no AIDS certificate is needed to entry Russia, unless you are going to stay in the country for more than 3 months.

    Siberian gay film fest a success

    Siberia's first gay film festival Sept. 6-15 was a great success, reports correspondent Vladimir Pershin. "The Pink Flamingo Film Festival" -- a project of the Siberian gay group Astarta, the Film Arts Foundation and San Francisco's Frameline, with funding from the Dutch government and the Tomsk, Siberia, Regional Department of Culture, Tourism and Films -- offered such movies as Gus Van Sant's Mala Noche, Monika Treut's My Father Is Coming, Wieland Speck's Westler: East of the Wall, Zelimir Zilnik's Marble Ass, and Richard Schmeiken's Changing Our Minds. One hundred twenty people attended the opening ceremonies and 15 additional screenings drew 40-50 viewers each. An ordinary movie in Tomsk draws three or four people, Astarta said, "and sometimes screenings are cancelled altogether due to the absence of an audience." A social program accompanied the festival, featuring round- table discussions on AIDS and homosexuality, meetings with human- rights activists, disco dances and parties. Media coverage was substantial and positive. Ten articles appeared in Tomsk newspapers and there were at least 10 TV reports including a 15-minute prime-time segment on TV-2. A previously unknown Christian group called "Pillar of Truth" picketed theaters nightly. The demonstrators carried signs reading "Homosexuality is a sin" and "Confess, sinners!" They sang hymns, handed out leaflets, and tried to dissuade people from entering the cinemas. "Obviously, most of the picketers were gay boys yet closeted to themselves," said correspondent Pershin. "They seemed to be interested in various issues of homosexuality but had not enough courage to choose more direct ways of satisfying their interest." The pickets brought greater publicity to the festival but may have frightened away some potential attendees, organizers said. In the end, Pershin said, the festival "helped Siberian gay men and lesbians in empowerment of their community and let thousands of people know that homosexuality is not a sickness or 'influence of the West' but an ordinary phenomenon that exists next door to them."

    Russia forsees aids epidemic

    Russia has seen a four-fold increase in people testing HIV- positive this year compared to 1995. Eight hundred HIV cases have been registered in 1996, 560 of them among intravenous drug users, said Russian Center Against AIDS epidemiologist Irina Savchenko. "When the disease enters the environment of drug addicts, it starts to spread like a forest fire," she told the Interfax news service. Gays and prostitutes had passed on HIV at a much slower rate, Savchenko said. Only a small fraction of Russia's HIV cases are believed to show up in the official numbers.

    Russian aids group seeks materials about AIDS

    Infoshare Russia -- which runs the nation's largest AIDS library -- is seeking updated materials from abroad. Books, articles, tapes and pamphlets are welcome on such topics as prevention/education, diagnosis, treatment, policy and law, human rights and medical ethics.

    Materials may be sent to a U.S. address: Infoshare International, 743-A Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. Phone: (510) 204-9099. e-mail: info2intl@aol.com.

    Chechnya separatists bad for gays

    The separatists who seized control of Russia's Chechnya region in August will base their new legal code on Muslim norms. Gay sex will be banned with punishment ranging from five years in prison to the death penalty. "We know that many European countries and European and Russian democratic organizations supported the Chechen separatists in their fight against the Russian army," Moscow gay leaders Roman Kalinin and Eugenia Debrianskaya said in an Oct. 28 press release. "We did it too. Now, it is obvious that the price of peace will be paid by thousands of lives of non-orthodox Chechen citizens, our brothers and sisters." An August peace deal between Moscow and the separatists stipulated the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya and put off discussions on the region's political status for five years. But after the deal was struck the rebels seized control and unilaterally formed a "coalition government," ignoring a promise to work with Russia in creating a post-war authority. The 1,500-member Congress of the Chechen People has scheduled local elections in January for president, prime minister and other posts.

    Death penalty for homosexuality in chechnia?

    According to the Chechen and Russian media, Checen separatists are proposing a new Penal code which includes an anti-sodomy law with punishment from five years in prison to the death penalty. The Triangle Centre, a Moscow-based Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual organization, and member of ILGA, reports that since coming to power, the Chechen separatists are looking at basing the new penal code on Muslim norms. Roman Kalinin and Eugenia Debrianskaya, on behalf of Triangle, said yesterday, "We know that many European countries and European and Russian democratic organizations supported the Chechnian separatists in their fight against the Russian army. We did it too. Now, it is obvious that the price of peace will be paid by thousands of lives of non-orthodox Chechnian citizens, our brothers and sisters." They ask for support in protesting these proposals. Keep on the alert for an ILGA/IGLHRC action alert soon! We'll report as soon as we get more information and addresses for protest!

    Registered HIV Cases Quadruple in Ukraine

    The Associated Press: Registered HIV Cases Quadruple in Ukraine KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Increased drug use and ignorance about AIDS have quadrupled the number of HIV infections registered in Ukraine since January, health officials said Wednesday. More than 10,000 people in Ukraine have registered HIV-positive, up from about 2,500 in January, the government's Committee for Combating AIDS announced. Of those registered, 110 have developed AIDS. Many Ukrainian health officials estimate the number of people infected with the virus that causes AIDS is probably 10 times greater than the number of cases registered. Many people, they say, are too scared to be tested. Most of the new cases were registered among intravenous drug users, who often contract the virus when using ''poppy straw,'' a popular opium derivative sold by the dose in used syringes. HIV has spread rapidly in the Black Sea coastal areas of Odessa and the Crimean Peninsula, where illegal drugs are more easily available. Yuri Subbotin, the World Health Organization representative in Ukraine, said people also are ignorant about how AIDS is transmitted.


    Books wanted for Russia From: ilga Request for Help. Dear ILGA Friends and Press Contacts, Please distribute or publish this notice to help out INFOSHARE. Your help is much appreciated! andy quan, coordinator. ILGA ATTENTION: STAFF, CLIENTS, DOCTORS, PATIENTS, VOLUNTEERS AND FRIENDS! HIV/AIDS and HUMAN RIGHTS BOOKS NEEDED! AIDS infoshare Russia/infoshare international is a team working to bring information on HIV/AIDS and human rights to organizations and individuals in Russia. We run the largest AIDS and public health library in Russia, which is the primary source of information about AIDS and AIDS-related issues in the country. Today, our Moscow-based library contains over 4,000 books and articles on different aspects of HIV/AIDS and human rights. However, much of our information is becoming outdated. As we feel responsible for delivering accurate information, we are constantly working to keep our materials current. We need your help! Do you or your friends have any books, articles, videotapes or pamphlets on the following HIV/AIDS-related subjects that you could contribute to our library? HIV/AIDS prevention/education, working with target groups, training materials, epidemiology, diagnosis and clinical treatment, policy and law, research, human rights or medical ethics. We also have a wish list of specific books that we need, if you would be interested in purchasing any of these books for our library.

    150 at russian national confab

    The Third All-Russian Gay and Lesbian Conference drew 150 delegates to Moscow in June, including representatives of more than 20 gay organizations from 14 regions of the country. Attendees urged Russian gays and lesbians to never vote for Communists and defined the Russian gay movement's immediate goals as passage of anti-discrimination and domestic-partnership laws, according to correspondent Vitali Joumagaliev. They sent open letters to the Duma detailing their demands. The Duma's Family Committee responded with a request for copies of domestic-partnership laws from other nations.

    Russian Records

    Rise in HIV "Russian Records Rise in HIV" Nature (01/09/97) Vol. 385, No. 6612, P. 108 The number of HIV-infected people in Russia nearly doubled in 1996, when 1,031 new infections were reported. The Interfax news agency said that a total of 2,316 infections have been registered since 1987. Most new infections are attributed to shared injection drug needles. A health ministry official warned that AIDS education efforts are impaired by insufficient funds. In Hungary, meanwhile, 606 new HIV cases were reported in 1996, bringing the country's total number of AIDS cases to 4,000.

    Russian aids programs are unfunded

    None of Russia's $13.9 million 1996 AIDS-prevention budget was distributed, the federal AIDS Prevention Department has revealed. The reason: the government is broke. Some funds were made available for treatment, however, said department spokesman Alexander Galiysov. The 1997 AIDS-prevention budget calls for less than half as much money as was proposed in 1996.

    Ukraine group seeks contacts

    March 08, 1997 - A gay organization in the Ukraine is seeking contacts and assistance from abroad. It is called The Foundation to Defend the Rights of Sexual Minorities. Its founder is Oxana Bocharnikova.

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    This page was created 03/10/97Last Modyfied 03/11/97 by Natasha