By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 4/2/2006 | 10:45 am
The "Association Marocaine des Jeunes Contre le SIDA" (AMJCS) will exhibit in Casablanca the world's largest painting against AIDS, said a release of the association.
To celebrate the spring, the association has invited youth, children and professional painters to design the largest painting ever against AIDS to make people aware of the danger of the disease.
Abdessamad Oussayh, AMJCS president, told Morocco Times that the aim of this new and special campaign is to tell the whole world that AIDS is not the disease of others, and that public health concerns everybody in the world.
“The painting seeks to raise awareness, inform people, prevent them from risky behaviors, and plead for international aid to combat the disease,” said Oussayh.
He added that the painting is a message of solidarity from the part of artists, youth, and children to the developed donating countries. Through the painting, we seek to mobilize aid not only for Morocco, but also for other African countries.
“We also invite Arab and African decision-makers to recognize and valorize the efforts made by youth of these countries – who face adults' stigmatization – in their fight against AIDS, and encourage them to reduce risky behaviors,” AMJCS president stressed.
Youth, children, and painters will take their brushes and express themselves on a 250-square meter-long canvas, which will be exhibited in a public square in Casablanca.
The campaign coincides with the international conference against AIDS scheduled this year in Toronto (Canada).
Only few days before announcing its new campaign, AMJCS launched a prevention campaign in Tantan, located in the Moroccan southern provinces. The three-day campaign aimed at mobilizing the city's civil society to spread awareness about the disease and help prevent risky behaviors among youths.
AMJCS intends to create a new free information and confidential blood test center, CIDAG in Tantan.
The AMJCS is one of the associations active in the field of prevention of AIDS. It was created in 1993 by a group of young Moroccans to fight the spread of AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Morocco.
Morocco is one of the North African countries that has known AIDS since the middle of the 80s. The first case of AIDS was discovered in 1986 in a man infected by a blood transfusion during a surgery in France.
Statistics up to 2005 reveal that the total number of full-blown AIDS cases in Morocco reached 1839. According to AMJCS, 16,000 to 25,000 HIV positive in Morocco.