TEHRAN, Aug. 18 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Second Anti-AIDS and Drug Addiction Theater Festival kicked off at the Daneshju Cultural Center on Monday. Several artists and officials from Iran's State Welfare Organization, Iran's Drug Control Headquarters and Drug Control Police attended the opening program.
A total of 175 works were presented to the secretariat from which five were chosen, the event's secretary Mohammad Ali Changizpur mentioned at the ceremony.
Several actors represent the letters HIV and the AIDS ribbon during the opening ceremony of the 2nd Anti-AIDS and Drug Addiction Theater Festival at Tehran's Daneshju Cultural Center on August 18, 2009. (Mehr/Hamid Bazgosha)
He said that submitted works had been reviewed by a committee of experts regarding their academic and educational merit as well as their artistic content.
Theater is a lively art and thus can play an important role in raising public awareness about AIDS and other epidemic diseases from which many young people suffer due to ignorance, he added.
He said that meetings on the prevention and control of AIDS as well as related film screenings will be held on the sidelines of the festival and experts will be available to answer questions on related issues.
The Secretary of the Committee for AIDS Control and Prevention of Iran's State Welfare Organization Majid Rezazadeh referred to AIDS as a current global problem made worse by drug addiction.
"Unfortunately negligence on the part of Iranian officials in the 1990s means that Iran is now faced with serious problems in controlling AIDS, although the number of cases country-wide have decreased," he said.
Speaking at the ceremony Deputy Director of Iran's Drug Control Police Ali Fudazi remarked that through dissemination of information society will consider drug addicts as patients who can find a cure rather than as criminals.
Deputy Director of Iran's Drug Control Police Ali Fudazi said it was sad that some organizations do not consider drug addiction and AIDS as social problems which can be controlled or prevented.
He said that people and organizations should take the issues of drug addiction and AIDS seriously and cooperate with each other to solve problems.
At the end of the ceremony Ramin Kohan's "HIV" and Lida Hosseini's "The Confession" were staged.
The festival is cosponsored by Iran's State Welfare Organization, Iran's Drug Control Police, Tehran's University of Medical Sciences and District 6 of Tehran's Municipality.
The event will run until August 20 at the center located in Shafaq Park, off Seyyed Jamaleddin Asadabadi St.
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