Preity is UNAIDS ambassador

Preity is UNAIDS ambassador

Bollywood actress Preity Zinta gestures during a news conference to announce her as the goodwill ambassador of the joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in New Delhi on Thursday. AP

The effervescent actor will join the league of other UNAIDS ambassadors like Hollywood actor Naomi Watts, German footballer Michael Ballack and Pakistani singer Salman Ahmed to help spread awareness.

“Forty per cent of HIV infected are women who are not aware of their positive status and pass the virus to their children ignorantly. This has to be stopped,” Preity said after formally accepting the aid agency’s offer here. “I will be the voice of the voiceless,” she said.

As a part of the awareness campaign, a public service film would be shot featuring Kings Eleven captain Kumar Sangakara, also a UN goodwill ambassador from Sri Lanka, Zinta herself and the batting mainstay Yuvraj Singh. Also on the day of the inaugural match between her team and the Delhi Daredevils, a HIV positive person would accompany captain Sangakara during the toss ceremony. The players will also sport red ribbon on their T-shirts as part of the awareness.

Preity Zinta added that a quarter of the Kings Eleven merchandise sale will be given away in charity. India currently has an estimated 2.27 million HIV positive people mostly within the age group of 15-49 years. Though more men are HIV positive than women, the epidemic is feminising with an increased number of women being infected over time.

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