On 15 May 2016, the International Candlelight Memorial Day, a major national sports contest started in Russia's sports capital Kazan - the Kazan Marathon 2016 - Test Yourself.
This marathon was different due to a number of facts:
- The new HIV cases are rising in Russia, and a new tendency has shaped - the disease expansion from the vulnerable groups into the general population. Over 70% of new HIV cases strike the socially active people aged between 20 and 40, while at the same time over 40% of Russians do not believe "HIV is a threat" for them.
- Running is increasingly a mode of self-expression among the young and socially active Russians, while mass races are becoming very popular.
Based on the above it is clearly important to unite the effort of various public sectors in order to counter the spread of the HIV infection. While the Kazan Marathon 2016 - Test Yourself promotes the interest in sports, its agenda also includes the issue which has become very acute for the Russians - the spreading HIV.
- To stress the necessity of regular HIV testing
- To disprove the lie alleging HIV is a narrow problem touching upon solely the vulnerable groups
- To decrease the level of stigma (discrimination) towards the HIV positive people, and to demonstrate that treatment makes full and active living possible
The starting line will unprecedented on the scale of Russia - there will be a team of 100 HIV-positive open-faces runners from various countries. The participation of this team will prove the possibility of not just living productively with HIV, but also running the 42 km distance.
The organizers will aid 100 people living with HIV and willing to run in the marathon - including the compensation of accommodation, catering, travel, and visa expenses (if necessary). The process to select the open-faces team runners starts today, 3 December 2015, and will end on 30 March 2016.
A few more facts about the Kazan Marathon 2016 - Test Yourself
- 10,000 participants
- Distances: 3, 10, 21 and 42 km
- The Kazan Marathon 2016 will be part of the Russian National Marathon Championship. The professional runners have welcomed the concept to combine the sports and social goals of the event.
- Famous athletes, artists and public activists have become the Marathon Ambassadors. You can see the final report video here: https://youtu.be/2ksJtbjrH0M
On 15 May 2016, shoulder to shoulder, top Russian and European runners, people living with HIV, famous athletes and artists, public persons and politicians will run. The Kazan Marathon 2016 is designed to start the All-Russia Campaign "Test Yourself."
- Organizing Committee of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia AIDS Conference (EECAAC'2016)
- Ministry for the Affairs of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan
- Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan
- Autonomous Non-Commercial Charity Organization Center for Advanced Healthcare Technologies and Fund AIDS Infoshare (Moscow)
- Autonomous Non-Commercial Charity Organization New Age (Kazan)