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International AIDS Memorial Day 2007 – Sunday, 20 May


KUALA LUMPUR, 20 April 2007 -  HIV is threatening childhood like never before. Globally, children under 15 account for 1 in 6 AIDS-related deaths and 1 in 7 new global HIV infections. A child under 15 dies of an AIDS-related illness every minute of every day, a young person aged 15 to 24 gets infected with HIV every 15 seconds while 15 million children are already orphaned by AIDS.

In Malaysia, new HIV infections are doubling every three years with an average of 17 people testing HIV-positive daily. Of the 74,000 people already infected in Malaysia as of June 2006, almost forty (40) per cent occur in young people below the age of 29. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV has increased from 0.2% new infections in 1991 to 1.2% in 2005.

More than twenty years into the AIDS epidemic and HIV/AIDS shows no signs of weakening its grip on human society. The number of children, adolescents and young people in the path of the pandemic and at risk and in need of protection continues to rise daily.

AIDS is depriving children and young people of many of their human rights – of the care, love and affection of their parents; of their teachers and other role models; of education and options for the future; and of protection against exploitation and abuse.

This year’s International AIDS Memorial Day (IAMD) theme "Leading the Way to a World Without AIDS" calls on the world to act now, urgently and decisively, to ensure that the next generation of children is AIDS-free.

UNICEF’s experiences from around the world demonstrates that prevention interventions targeting young people could significantly help curtail the AIDS epidemic. These interventions include:

  • Interventions through schools: Skills-based sexual health education in schools, where programs present accurate information and ensure sustained exposure.
  • Interventions through health services: Youth-friendly health services which provide HIV/AIDS related information and counseling, risk reduction services as well as testing and treatment for STIs and HIV.
  • Interventions through communities: Targeted community based interventions for young people who are marginalised, have poor access to information and services and are at high risk of HIV exposure, such as sex workers and injecting drug users.
  • Interventions through the media: Sustained multi-channel mass media campaigns that are adapted to social context and tailored to real sexual behaviours.
  • Policies as an intervention: Policies provide the overall context for actions to reduce vulnerability to HIV among youth, reflect national commitment, and create the space for specific interventions to take place. Policies also provide direction, but must be based on evidence of what is effective.
The world must take urgent account of the specific impact of AIDS on children and young people, or there will be no chance of meeting Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 – to halt and begin to reverse the spread of the disease by 2015. Failure to meet the goal on HIV/AIDS will adversely affect the world’s chances of progress on the other MDGs. The disease will continue to frustrate efforts to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, to provide universal primary education, and to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.

IAMD is among the largest and oldest grassroots mobilisation campaigns for HIV/AIDS  awareness in the world. Now in its 24th year, IAMD has become more than just a memorial to commemorate the lives lost  to AIDS. It provides opportunities to educate people about HIV/AIDS; inform  policymakers about steps to take in stopping the disease; and create community dialogue about prevention,  care and treatment. 

To learn more about International AIDS Memorial Day, please visit


BROADCASTERS:  Broadcast quality videos

  • Public Service Announcement (TRT 0:30) – Children Missing a Childhood (featuring celebrities Claudia Schiffer, David Beckham, Robbie Williams and Roger Moore amongst others). View (real player)
  • Video News Report (TRT 2:25) – Malaysia: Kicking AIDS Out: Teen Footballers on the Offensive Against AIDS. View (real player)

MEDIA QUERIES: Please contact UNICEF Malaysia
Indra Nadchatram:(+6) 013 3663452;
Izwina Mohd Din: (+6) 012 2437374;





International AIDS Memorial Day 2007

Sunday, 20 May 2007
Leading the Way to a World without AIDS

(external link)

The AIDS Response

Unite against AIDS

The Malaysian Launch
  (with )

Millennium Development Goals


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