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At a glance: United States of America

Basketball stars and UNICEF team up for new HIV/AIDS television campaign

© UNICEF video
Houston Rockets centre Dikembe Mutombo in one of the new TV spots created by UNICEF and the NBA.

By David Koch

NEW YORK, USA, 27 November 2006 – In the run-up to the 25th annual celebration of World AIDS Day on 1 December, the US-based National Basketball Association (NBA) and UNICEF today launched a new public service announcement campaign featuring 10 high-profile NBA and Women’s NBA stars:

  • Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns
  • Houston Rockets centres Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo
  • Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James
  • Detroit Shock forward Swin Cash
  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Elton Brand
  • Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki
  • Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko
  • Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol
  • New York Liberty guard Becky Hammon.

Building on a partnership launched in May between UNICEF and ‘NBA Cares’ – the association’s global outreach initiative – the multilingual PSAs support the UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS global campaign.

“Having these players jump into the game to call attention to the enormous impact of AIDS on children is a huge win for children throughout the world,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said at the partnership launch. “We are grateful to have the NBA as our newest partner in the campaign.”

© UNICEF video
Top NBA player Yao Ming appears in a new UNICEF public service announcement to heighten HIV awareness.

Expanding paediatric treatment

Other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors around the world who have participated in the PSA campaign include Roger Federer, Shakira, Whoopi Goldberg, David Beckham, Amitabh Bachchan, Sir Roger Moore, Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes.

One of the critical goals of the campaign is expanded paediatric AIDS treatment. Less than 5 per cent of HIV-positive children who need treatment have access to it. The UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS target is to provide treatment to 80 per cent of children in need by 2010.

The other key objectives of the campaign are:

  • Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • Preventing HIV infection among adolescents and young people
  • Protecting and supporting children affected by HIV and AIDS.

The 60- and 30-second PSAs released today were produced in a collaboration between NBA Entertainment, UNICEF and the US Fund for UNICEF, and are available in Chinese, English, German, Russian and Spanish. 

© UNICEF video
NBA star Steve Nash speaks in a video message supporting the global UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign.

A leader in AIDS advocacy

The NBA has collaborated with UNICEF on several other awareness-raising endeavors on education and health issues.

Since 2001, for example, 17 NBA and WNBA teams have participated in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF initiative, an education, fundraising and advocacy campaign for children.

The NBA’s Basketball without Borders programme – an instructional camp for young athletes that also promotes friendship, healthy living and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention – includes UNICEF-led interactive seminars on the disease. Since its inception in 2001, Basketball without Borders has featured more than 120 NBA players, coaches and team personnel from 29 different teams as camp coaches for the more than 700 young athletes from nearly 100 countries and territories.

The NBA has been internationally recognized for its ongoing commitment to fighting the spread of AIDS in communities worldwide and has been honored for its efforts by the Global Business Coalition as a leader in global AIDS advocacy.




27 November 2006:
Watch the video announcement on HIV/AIDS recorded by top NBA stars in English. This and other language versions available through The Newsmarket.
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