Bangladesh Cricket Hero Vows to Save Generations by Inspiring Them to ‘Think Wise’ about HIV
DHAKA, 11 March 2014: National cricket idol and THINK WISE campaign spokesperson Shakib Al Hasan today reemphasized his commitment to continue his fight to save generations by inspiring them to ‘think wise’ and to take the right decision about HIV. The campaign aims at raising awareness about HIV and AIDS in order to make a positive impact on the lives of adolescents and young people across the world and helps to prevent new HIV infections.
“I feel privileged to be a part of the THINK WISE campaign. As a sportsperson I know how far-reaching an impact we can make in addressing key issues like HIV and AIDS, especially in developing countries like Bangladesh,” said Shakib Al Hasan.
He also said that South Asia in particular is at risk of HIV and AIDS as the lack of awareness and general ignorance in the region is far greater than anywhere else.
“We know that HIV and AIDS is present in every continent and that cricket can be a very powerful force against social stigma, ignorance and discrimination – factors that contribute to increased vulnerability to HIV infection. People living with HIV are usually young people in their productive lives. I am here today to vow that along with the cricketing world I will continue my work to save generations by inspiring them to think wise,” said Shakib.
“The campaign, assisted by prominent cricketers around the world such as Shakib, have been doing a lot of good work to raise awareness about HIV prevention – encouraging people, especially adolescents and young people, to make the right choices and to seek help and advice about how to protect themselves,” said UNICEF Representative, Pascal Villeneuve during the press conference.
“Shakib is an inspiration to young Bangladeshis. He appreciates the commitments that the Government of Bangladesh - like many governments in the region - have made toward zero new infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero stigma and discrimination” added UNAIDS Country Director Leo Kenny.
ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh provides an ideal platform to reach out to cricket fans in the country with THINK WISE messaging. The tournament is scheduled to be held from 16 March to 6 April in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
The THINK WISE initiative builds on a long-term partnership between the ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF which for more than 11 years has reached out to the cricketing community to work together in responding to the global AIDS crisis.
The partnership seeks to educate cricket players, coaches, commentators, broadcasters, volunteers and spectators about the AIDS epidemic, particularly around prevention and stigma issues, as around 10 million people living with HIV are from Test-playing nations. This number accounts for more than a quarter of all the people across the world that are HIV-positive and a sizeable portion of these people live in South Asia.
The other THINK WISE champions working to make a positive impact on the lives of young people across the world and helping to prevent new HIV infections through using the power of cricket are Darren Sammy - West Indies, Kumar Sangakkara - Sri Lanka, Ricky Ponting - Australia and Virender Sehwag - India.
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