Children and HIV and AIDS

UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS: A day of action

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© UNICEF/HQ05-1446/Markisz
The launch of UNICEF's UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign culminated with a giant slide show projected onto the United Nations building featuring the campaign's logo.

By Jane O'Brien

NEW YORK, USA, 25 October 2005 – UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS is a campaign that aims to put children and their needs at the forefront of the global fight against the disease – beginning with events on the day of launch.

The day opened with the official inauguration of the campaign at United Nations Headquarters, by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, five young people whose lives have been affected by HIV, and other dignitaries.

Photo exhibition

Next on the day’s schedule was an exhibition of UNICEF photographs, revealing the diverse ways in which children worldwide are profoundly impacted by the disease.

“This exhibition pulls us into the lives of children orphaned by AIDS,” said Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who attended the event. “What does this mean? Who will love them and guide them? Who will dress them in the morning? Who will make sure they go to school or teach them how to grow the food they need for those remaining in the family? Who will protect them from exploitation and abuse?”

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF video
Young people affected by HIV/AIDS give their views on how to prevent the disease from spreading, during events for the launch of UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS.

Technical roundtable

Answering some of the medical questions was the purpose of a roundtable discussion with some of the world’s leading experts on treating children with HIV/AIDS.

“We know what to do,” said Dr. Peter Piot. “Now we need to work out the ‘how’. Our challenge is to move from small projects that reach a few thousand children to covering the whole world. We should not be content with anything less than that.”

Young people’s roundtable

Young people affected by HIV/AIDS also held their own round table discussion on HIV prevention. Twenty-year-old Livey Van Wyk from Namibia was diagnosed with HIV on the same day she found out she was pregnant. She called for more support for adolescents and young people who are infected.

“You need to take us seriously,” she told the forum. “Don’t use us as a show case. Listen to our outcry. Give us opportunity. It’s in the best interest of us all. We are positive, confident and productive.”

The day’s close

As night fell, the campaign logo was projected onto the UN headquarters buildings in New York in a dramatic statement of unity in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

And in the final event, celebrities, guests and UNICEF staff gathered at a reception where the Pakistani pop group Strings played out the promise that global action will be taken to help children affected by HIV/AIDS.











 

 

Video

25 October 2005:
UNICEF correspondent Jane O’Brien reports on the photo exhibit, roundtables and closing events for the launch of UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS.

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Audio

26 October 2005:
UNICEF Radio correspondent Blue Chevigny reports on the roundtable discussions in depth. 

Hear from the youth roundtable. 

Hear from the technical roundtable. 

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