Youth against HIV/AIDS 2008-2010

WE Choose a Life

The project was a joint initiative of four Russian cities, Cherepovets, Dimitrovgrad, Izhevsk and Stavropol, and international experts from the Netherlands, Finland and UK, to identify the most effective ways to curb the rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among young people in Russian partner cities. This was done by enhancing the capacity of local leaders and decision makers, promoting healthy lifestyle, raising public awareness on HIV/AIDS issues and increasing involvement of youth in planning of preventive actions through trainings provided by associated experts.


European Commission, Tacis Institution Building Partnership Programme


The project builds on grass-root activities and consists of theoretical trainings, practical workshops and study visits for representatives of the multi-stakeholder group. The multi-stakeholder group is responsible for coordinating core actions in their cities and act as trainers. They focus on identifying the local strengths and challenges and adapt and implement the methods and new concepts from the trainings to the needs of their target group. Six experts from each partner city from the different municipal departments and representatives of media and NGO`s working with youth serves as intermediaries to distribute the learning from the project to their organisations, local authorities and decision makers. Additionally, a group of volunteers (around 20 people) in each of the project cities is trained as media advocates working with young people on HIV/AIDS issues. This makes the process of prevention of HIV/AIDS more systematic, coordinated and empowering and builds local capacity for more sustainable actions in the future.


  • established and trained multi-stakeholder group of experts to coordinate HIV/AIDS prevention work in each city,
  • Strategic City Action Plans on curbing the HIV/AIDS epidemics,
  • increased level of policy-makers´ awareness of the needs and lifestyles of young people,
  • Youth Monitoring Tool in each city
  • Handbook on Youth Involvement – Youth against HIV/AIDS,
  • materials from campaigns against HIV/AIDS in each city

Lessons learned:

Key principles deriving from the partner cities experience after project lifetime:

  • reflect on the state of the epidemic in the city; cultural, political and socio-economic conditions (multidimensional)
  • multi-sectorial and cross-departmental initiative if striving for good results
  • focus on youth involvement
  • political commitment
  • integrated approach in addressing the problem
  • strategic focus enhancing sustainability
  • sexual education and information available to broad audience
  • development of positive relations with media

Mobilizing youth commitment to combat rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia.

2008 to 2010




296 200€