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Global Campaign on Children and AIDS launched in New York : Jamaican Kerrel McKay shines at event

Kerril McKay (centre in front of microphone) at the launch of the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS

Second from left) Jamaican youth representative Kerrel McKay, 20, speaks at a youth roundtable on HIV prevention at the launch of the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS, at UNICEF House. She is flanked by fellow youth representatives (left-right) Ebony Ramirez, 25, of the United States of America, Iryna Kalinichenko, 21, of Ukraine and Nakwan Leknork, 20, of Thailand. Ms. Ramirez became HIV-positive through a blood transfusion when she was a child. She now works as a peer educator and is expecting her first baby. Ms. McKay has cared for her father, who is HIV-positive, since she was nine and continues her advocacy work on behalf of HIV/AIDS-affected children. Ms. Kalinichenko has been HIV-positive for three years. She runs support groups for HIV-positive families and prevention programmes for school children. Ms. Leknork lost her father to AIDS and currently supports her mother, who is HIV-positive.

On 25 October 2005, UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners launched the 2005 – 2010 Global Campaign on Children and AIDS: Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS. Worldwide, 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Every day, nearly 1,800 children under 15 become HIV-positive and 1,400 die of AIDS-related illness. Every day more than 6,000 young people aged 15-24 acquire the virus. Yet children are missing from the global HIV/AIDS agenda. Millions of children are missing parents, teachers, care, information, treatment and protection – in effect, their childhoods. The ‘Four Ps’ strategy of the Global Campaign on Children and AIDS aims to: prevent mother-to-child transmission; provide paediatric treatment to all HIV-positive children; prevent HIV infection among young people; and protect and support all AIDS-affected children. The campaign was simultaneously launched in multiple countries. The global launch was held at United Nations Headquarters with the participation of children directly affected by the pandemic as well as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Roger Moore, First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame and others.





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