Children and HIV and AIDS

On World AIDS Day, children inspire new partnerships to fight HIV

UNICEF Image: World AIDS Day
© UNICEF/HQ05-1726/Cranston
In Southern Sudan, children wearing UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS t-shirts attend a local launch of the global campaign to bring attention to the plight of youth affected by the pandemic.

By Dan Thomas

NEW YORK, USA, 30 November 2006 – Twenty-five years after the first case of AIDS was recorded, the impact of the disease on children and young people is inspiring creative new partnerships to create an HIV-free generation.

Leading sports and entertainment organizations are coming forward to join the global UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign and demand that children do not miss out on efforts to help people affected by HIV and AIDS.

The campaign was launched by UNAIDS and UNICEF in October 2005 to try to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, provide treatment to children living with the virus, prevent new infections and protect children and orphans made vulnerable by AIDS.

UNICEF Image: World AIDS Day
© UNICEF video
South African cricket players recently visited India to spend time with children affected by HIV and pledge their support for the global campaign against AIDS.

Preventing HIV/AIDS through sport

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the latest world sporting body joining forces with UNICEF and UNAIDS to promote UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS. Top players and officials taking part in the Cricket World Cup in the West Indies next year have agreed to do what they can to raise awareness locally and globally. The Caribbean is the second most AIDS-affected region in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa, and the most affected in the Americas.

The Cricket World Cup partnership – involving UNICEF, UNAIDS, the ICC, cricketers, Caribbean celebrities, the media and young people – will focus on ending AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, and engaging young people in effective prevention efforts.

“The partnership has the potential to make an enormous contribution in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said UNICEF Representative in Jamaica Bertrand Bainvel, coordinator of the UNICEF Cricket Task Force for the Caribbean.

Creative approaches

Meanwhile, Futbol Club Barcelona will wear special arm bands at their match this weekend to draw attention to children affected by AIDS. In September, the legendary club printed the UNICEF logo on its jersey and agreed to donate 7.5 million Euros to UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS programmes.

The US-based National Basketball Association has thrown its considerable weight and height behind the campaign as well. Ten basketball stars appear in a series of special World AIDS Day videos talking about the impact of the disease on children.

The International Olympic Committee is also taking on the issue of HIV/AIDS with a variety of creative approaches, including their own HIV-prevention programmes and a toolkit on prevention through sport.

UNICEF Image: World AIDS Day
© Futbol Club Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona player Carles Puyol on the pitch with two children. The FC Barcelona team jersey bears the UNICEF logo to help raise awareness of threats to the well-being of young people.

‘Who’s Afraid of HIV?’

In another key partnership, the International Parliamentary Union has been working closely with UNICEF to ensure that lawmakers understand the devastating impact the AIDS crisis is having on children – and to encourage their more active support in scaling up the response.

The Global Movement for Children focused its 2006 activities on children and AIDS, and today is organizing a ‘Lesson for Life’ event encouraging schools, youth groups and media organizations to raise the profile of children in the international response to the AIDS epidemic. The Lesson for Life aims to give millions of children a way to participate in and learn about the fight against AIDS.

Former US President Bill Clinton is calling for an end to discrimination against children affected by AIDS in a World AIDS Day video message with Kami, the HIV-positive Muppet from Sesame Workshop.

And finally, this month BBC World will broadcast ‘Who’s Afraid of HIV? One Year On’ – a series of follow-up films, funded by UNICEF, which document the lives of children in Brazil, Malawi, Russia and India affected by HIV and AIDS one year after they were filmed for the first series.


 

 

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30 November 2006:
UNICEF correspondent Dan Thomas reports on partnerships with stars of stage, screen and sport launched this year to support the campaign against AIDS.
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