The UNAIDS awards the Jonathan Mann Prize 2007 to Nurali Amanzholov

3 December 2007

ALMATY, Thursday, 29 November 2007 The UNAIDS-Kazakhstan Jonathan Mann Prize 2007 has been awarded to Nurali Amanzholov, President of the "Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV". Mr Amanzholov received the prize for his significant contribution to fight against AIDS in the country.

The Jonathan Mann Award is given annually to organizations or individuals in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for exceptional contribution to the response to HIV and AIDS.

Nurali Amanzholov is the founder of the public fund called "Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV. Thanks to the fund, people living with HIV are increasingly involved in HIV preventive work and in facilitating services, such as access to treatment and medication for people living with HIV.

He has attracted positive attention to the problems of HIV-positive people and has helped to eliminate stigmatization and discrimination associated with HIV infection.

Mr. Amanzholov has established partnerships with many organizations in Kazakhstan and abroad. These partnerships have helped him procure good training for members of the public fund. He also represents the Kazakhstani and Central Asian communities of people living with HIV at various international conferences and forums.

The involvement of people living with HIV is important to ensure universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support. It helps eliminate fears and prejudices and opens opportunities for the exchange of information and experience without prejudice. It also destroys myths and misconceptions.

The 1st of December every year is the World AIDS Day. "This year World AIDS day focuses on leadership. Leadership is required at all levels, Irina Savchenko, UNAIDS subregional coordinator says. She commends Nurali Amanzholov as an exemplary individual leader and reminds us that similar leadership is needed in family, community, country and global levels. Without leadership, response to the epidemic will not be efficient."

Over the years, the United Nations has emphasized the importance of involving people living with HIV in HIV and AIDS work. The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (UN General Assembly 2001) stressed "the particular role and significant contribution of people living with HIV [] in addressing the problem of HIV/AIDS.

The Jonathan Mann Award was established by UNAIDS and its co-sponsors in 1999 when the number of new cases of HIV infection was increasing rapidly in Central Asia. Jonathan Mann was the founder of the World Health Organisations Special Programme on HIV/AIDS, which in 1996 was replaced by the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

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