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Global Campaign for Children and AIDS launches in Iran

TEHRAN, 1 December 2005– UNICEF, UNAIDS, Iran’s Ministry of Health and other partners today kicked off a campaign to focus attention on the devastating impact of AIDS on children and young people. The campaign was launched with a football match between the Ararat Football Club and the Iranian Celebrities’ Club in Tehran. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah, Ministry of Health officials, a host of Iranian celebrities from television, film and sport and hundreds of school children attended the event.

The football match was preceded by a high-level seminar on HIV and AIDS at the University of Tehran, organized by the Ministry of Health. Speaking on the occasion, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah said, “Children are the missing face of AIDS - missing not only from global and national policy discussions on HIV/AIDS, but also lacking access to even the most basic care and prevention services. Millions of children are missing parents, siblings, schooling, health care, basic protection and many of the other fundamentals of childhood because of the toll the disease is taking. Children must be at the forefront of the fight against AIDS.”

The Minister of Health of the Islamic Republic of Iran spoke about Iran’s National AIDS Programme and Iran’s contribution to the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS. As part of the campaign, Iran’s national broadcaster, IRIB, today, began televising three new public service announcements related to young people and HIV/AIDS on its popular sports channel.

UNICEF Iran’s Officer-in-Charge, Jan Pieter Kleijburg, said, “The Global Campaign in Iran will focus on preventing infection among adolescents and young people, preventing mother-to-child transmission and protecting and supporting children affected by HIV/AIDS.”

This year the Global Campaign’s slogan is: Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS. According to UNAIDS, $55 billion will be needed over the next three years, $22 billion in 2008 alone, to confront the AIDS pandemic. A significant portion should be specifically targeted for children affected by the disease.

For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 158 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. 



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