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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Charity Opens AIDS Info Center

An American charity has opened the first AIDS information center in Russia, equipped with a library, computer data, videos and a telephone inquiry service.

Located in a three-room apartment in central Moscow, it has 2,500 books and magazines, some 40,000 documents and articles on computer, and 40 videos about AIDS, according to Julie Stachowiak, president of the American organization AIDS Infoshare Russia.

"We want to have all information about AIDS in one place, accessible to any Russian from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok," Stachowiak said.

She said use of the library is free and open to anyone. Users can examine data in the library or take away photocopies. Those living outside Moscow wishing to use the library can receive information by telephone or post.

AIDS Infoshare plans to promote its library in Russian newspapers and post notices at all Russian AIDS prevention centers.

"Information is the only powerful -- and sometimes the only -- weapon against AIDS," she said. "People in Russia are now more sexually active and very soon AIDS will be much bigger problem. "

After working for a year in Russia, she believes information available to the public about AIDS is seriously inadequate.

"I have a lot of doubt that a Russian can get here first, enough information, and second, correct information about AIDS," Stachowiak said. "The Russian press incorrectly promotes discrimination against HIV-positive people and blames homosexuals and prostitutes as the only source of the spread of the HIV virus."