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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anti-AIDS Organization Brings Message to RuNet

"Sometimes in life, you have to take a risk," says the blond guy in the pink coat.

"Not when you're risking your health and life," says the girl in blue.

"Use condoms!" they announce together.

The happy -- and responsible -- couple welcome you to www.rol.ru/psi, part of the online anti-AIDS movement in Russia.

The site was initiated by Population Services International, an NGO funded largely by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Convergent Media Group, a U.S. Internet marketing-solutions company, is leading the implementation of PSI's Internet activities.

PSI created the Vozmi s Soboi, or "Take it With You," campaign, which promotes HIV prevention through condom use, said CMG managing director Rob Anderson.

"[PSI] will continue communicating their message across Russia with coordinated offline activities in Moscow and in the regions through their regional offices," Anderson said.

Russia OnLine is working closely with PSI and CMG and has donated more than $75,000 of media-value and design services to the current campaign, he said.

The web site drives home the "Take it With You" message quite clearly: While visiting the site, a web user's pointer is covered with an on-screen condom.

The site has some frightening statistics on the spread of HIV. In 1987, there were only 23 HIV cases in Russia, according to the site; but that number has ballooned to 160,000, with an average of 4,400 cases reported each month.

The site has an interview with Valery Kipelov, lead singer of the heavy-metal band Aria.

"If we don't want to bury our children, friends and acquaintances, than we have to talk about [AIDS]," says Kipelov.