AIDS Foundation East West

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Mobilising Cultural Resources for HIV and AIDS Prevention Education in the Republic of Moldova

Donor: UNESCO Moscow Office

Implemented by: AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW)

Project Partners: Ministry of Education of the Republic of Moldova, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Moldova, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova, 

the National Commission of the Republic of Moldova for UNESCO, UNAIDS in Moldova,  with the financial support from the UNESCO Moscow Office

Duration: May 2009 - February 2010

Additional Information


In recent years, the HIV epidemic in the Republic of Moldova has continued to accelerate and sexual transmission has played an increasingly critical role. One result of this trend is a rapid growth in the number of infected women: 46% of registered cases in 2008 were among women compared to 41% in 2007.

In order to support the expansion of HIV prevention activities in the Republic of Moldova, AFEW launched the project ‘Mobilising Cultural Resources for HIV and AIDS Prevention Education in the Republic of Moldova’.

This project harnesses the huge potential of the arts to influence the consciousness of a nation and deliver messages to the general population. AFEW identified a clear need to engage educational and cultural institutions in prevention campaigns, as well as to support HIV-focused activities for young people in a wide range of art forms.

Main Objectives

  • To raise awareness among policy-makers, artists, cultural leaders and educational  institutions of the importance of utilising cultural approaches  in strategies, policies, projects and fieldwork;
  • To generate discussions on the role of the arts in generating tolerant attitudes towards people living with HIV and AIDS;
  • To stimulate  action among key stakeholders, including  art professionals in HIV and AIDS education and to raise awareness among the general public;
  • To motivate young artists to address human rights and social issues in their work.

The project succeeded in mobilising young artists to create HIV prevention messages in music, graphic art, photography and painting through a competition in the national media ‘Be Creative. You Can Stop HIV!’ In the run-up to the competition, AFEW ran a series of creative workshops and master classes for students from over 50 universities, schools and technical colleges in the age range 12-25. These extremely popular sessions combined tuition from well-known professional artists with guidance on UNESCO’s best practice in HIV/AIDS cultural activities.

The high-quality of the artistic works created under the project together with the participation of well-knowт celebrities on the judging panel ensured a very positive response from the local media and public. Cooperation with Dance4Life and other youth organisations meant that the competition reached a wide section of the young population.

Public participation was mustered through a press conference and an online public vote to choose the winners. The culmination of the competition coincided with World AIDS Day and was marked by a televised Red Ribbon Awards Ceremony in Chisinau to recognise outstanding work in the field of HIV prevention.


Last update: 12/20/2010