Condom handout at Russian WWII monument slammed

Moscow, May 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A prominent Russian lawmaker Friday called for public condemnation of a recent handout of condoms by AIDS activists at an monument in honour of soldiers who died in World War II.

“The most serious reaction to such things is not the introduction of new administrative bans, but a sharp condemnation by society,” said Olga Batalina, head of the Russian parliament’s committee on family issues.

“This would be the most serious weapon, one in the hands of each of us.”

A group of LGBT activists handed out condoms Sunday next to the eternal flame in memory of the unknonw soldier in the central Russia city of Togliatti in an attempt to raise AIDS and HIV awareness.

They also placed portraits of famous people who had died of AIDS, including former Queen singer Freddie Mercury, next to the monument.

Over 69,000 new cases of HIV were recorded in Russia last year, the country’s top public health official said in March.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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