Czech children in world AIDS day link-up

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Friday is the International Day Against AIDS and a good opportunity therefore to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV here in the Czech Republic. On a world scale, official infection statistics in this country remain extremely low, but the example of Russia--which now has the highest rates of new infection--demonstrates that no society can afford to be complacent.

Friday is the International Day Against AIDS and a good opportunity therefore to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV here in the Czech Republic. On a world scale, official infection statistics in this country remain extremely low, but the example of Russia--which now has the highest rates of new infection--demonstrates that no society can afford to be complacent. According to the chairman of the Czech Aids Help Society, Vaclav Strouhal, many Czech citizens still perceive AIDS and HIV as foreign phenomena:

"I would say that young Czech people today have a good level of information. At school they learn what HIV is and what AIDS is. I would say that the problems stem from the fact the Czech Republic has a quite low level of infection and people are not used to encountering it. It's not like in other countries where people have fellow students, teachers, and colleagues that they know are infected. In the Czech Republic, people are not used to this, and don't even know that sitting next to them is an HIV-positive colleague, living in anonymity."

Young people are always a central focus of the fight against AIDS, and this year UNICEF aim to link up young people all around the globe for an international AIDS debate. To find out more, Peter Smith spoke to the Director of the Czech Committee for UNICEF, Pavla Gomba: