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“Get the Facts, protect yourself”: World-class cricketers champion HIV campaign at 2011 Cricket World Cup

Sri Lankan cricket player Kumar Sangakkara in a new public service announcement that encourages young people to inform themselves about HIV

They may be rivals on the field of play, but international cricketing stars Virender Sehwag and Kumar Sangakkara have joined together to support a new “Think Wise” campaign ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

The players feature in a public service announcement available to all broadcasters across the globe—that encourages young people to inform themselves about HIV, take appropriate action to prevent HIV infection, and stand together against HIV-related stigma and discrimination. The new campaign is led by the International Cricketing Council (ICC), in partnership with UNAIDS and UNICEF.

“The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 provides an opportunity to use our status as cricketers to deliver important social messages to the millions of supporters who will be watching the tournament across the world,” said India’s Virender Sehwag. “I hope this public service announcement can encourage young people to get the facts and protect themselves from HIV.”

Sehwag and Sangakkara have been active supporters of the ICC partnership since it was formed in 2003, visiting HIV projects at ICC events and promoting HIV prevention and stigma reduction messages. Other cricketing stars in the partnership include Graeme Smith (South Africa), Shakib-Al-Hasan (Bangladesh) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (West Indies).

“It is important that young people around the world have access to the right information to help them make informed decisions and break down stigma and discrimination,” said Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara. “Through this public service announcement, I want to help stop the spread of HIV.”

A number of other “Think Wise” activities are planned during this year’s Cricket World Cup, which runs from 19 February through 2 March, with matches across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Cricket players will participate in a series of interactions focused on HIV prevention with local community groups in the three host countries. Cricket teams will wear red ribbons on their shirts in key matches during the competition and HIV prevention messages will be promoted at venues on all match days.






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