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Grant progamme for journalists covering medical issues announced in Russia

The association of journalists writing on issues related to public health has announced a grant programme for writers covering the theme of tuberculosis in the media in 2007-2008.
The programme is aimed to support the coverage in the national and regional mass media of issues related to the tuberculosis epidemic. The programme is designed for journalists employed by television, radio, press and internet editions. The programme finalists are to be awarded a grant not larger than 45 thousand roubles that is to allow implement their projects.
The international White&Case LLP legal firm will render support to the programme, the project’s co-ordinator being the organisation Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA).
The association of journalists covering public health issues is interested in projects focusing on analysis of the most relevant issues related to tuberculosis in Russia.
Other preferred projects will be ones that cannot be carried out without the grant, ones that draw attention to issues without sufficient or any coverage in the media as well as ones that are of interest to a maximum audience.
Applications are to be sent in until 20 November 2007.

Thai bank hands out condoms to shy customers

A Thai bank is pitching into the battle against HIV/AIDS and handing out condoms to customers too shy to get them at the shop, Reuters reports.
Kasikorn Bank launched the "Condoms for Confidence" campaign at 600 branches nationwide and said it would start giving out the sheaths, branded K-Condom and K-Excellence.
"HIV/AIDS is returning to Thailand since the government awareness campaign started 20 years ago has fizzled out," said a bank spokesman who declined to be identified. "We want the teenagers to be aware of the problem."
Despite a tenfold plunge of overall new HIV/AIDS cases from 15 years ago, the health ministry has said it was concerned about the numbers of teenagers and homosexuals still being infected.
Disease Control Department chief Thawat Suntrajarn said embarrassment about buying condoms and ignorance in using them were the main causes of the new cases.
"Research papers from all sorts of agencies have a consensus that many condom users are embarrassed to buy condoms from counters," Thawat told Reuters.
"Women who buy condoms from convenience stores always get a strange look from people, so condom handouts are a good way to avoid such embarrassment."
New HIV/AIDS cases in Thailand, once praised by international health agencies for its aggressive campaign to tackle the epidemic, had fallen to 13,000 in 2006 from more than 100,000 a year in early 1990s, Thawat said.