Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice

PRESS-RELEASE: ARF was awarded the Crystal of Hope award by AIDS Life

21 May, Vienna

At a nineteenth Life-Ball celebration in Vienna, Austria, an international charity AIDS Life has awarded their Crystal of Hope award to a Russian NGO Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and social Justice (ARF). The award honors the work and dedication of pioneers in the field of HIV/AIDS and is endowed with 100,000 Euro.

Life Ball is one of the biggest AIDS charity events in the world and a unique ball. Since 1993, it has contributed to remove the taboo of AIDS in our society and generates great international interest and media attention year after year. Life Ball is an exuberant festivity with extraordinary performances that celebrates life and makes a loud and sounding statement in the fight against HIV and AIDS – resounding far across the borders of Vienna and Austria.

Andrey Rylkov Foundation’s mission is to promote and develop humane drug policy based on tolerance, protection of health, dignity and human rights. The Foundation activities focus on advocacy for better access to health care, including HIV prevention and treatment for people who use drugs. Currently, the HIV epidemic in Russia is one of the fastest growing in the world, and injecting drug users are most hit by the epidemic. The Russian government is internationally critiqued for its neglect of the epidemic and reluctance to introduce life-saving, evidence-based, low-cost prevention programs, such as needle and syringe programs and opiate substitution treatment which constitute, according to the World Health Organization, the core of HIV work among injecting drug users. In this context, ARF leads community effort in advocacy for effective HIV programming, and provides life-saving HIV prevention services for drug users in Moscow.

The Crystal of Hope is traditionally presented by a world famous personality and this year it was handed to ARF’s president Anya Sarang by actress Brooke Shields who said that she was “Very proud to award the The Andrey Rylkov Foundation For Health and Social Justice with the Life Ball Crystal of Hope 2011 for their leading efforts in Russia.”

Official video of the Life Ball and the ceremony of award presentation:

Contact information:

Vienna: Sasha Gurinova / Anya Sarang: +49 170 9714922 or email:, Deutch, Russian)

Moscow: Ivan Varentsov, Cell. +7.916.642.5682, email: (English, Russian)

Press release life ball

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