Feature story

Be Smart winners!

03 April 2007

Prizes have been given out for the “Be smart protect yourself” competition with winners receiving sweatshirts signed by UNAIDS Special Representative Michael Ballack.

The competition was announced in connection with the launch of the UNAIDS Public Service Announcement (PSA) “Be smart protect yourself” featuring Michael Ballack. The footballer talks about HIV prevention and urges young people to make smart choices.

Dressed in a one of the coveted red UNAIDS sweatshirt, Ballack spent a rainy afternoon at the famous London stadium, Stanford Bridge, taping the HIV prevention video. The PSA script was prepared by UNAIDS and produced by partner Aljazeera TV. The announcement is available in both English and German and has been broadcast around the world.

Ballack’s popularity helped reach a large audience – participants from 44 countries entered the competition giving the correct data to a key question – how many people were newly infected with HIV in 2006. The correct answer is an estimate of 4.3 million people. Young people are at particular risk, accounting for 40% of new infections in 2006 among people 15 years and older.

Michael Ballack, captain of the German Football team and worldwide a role model to young people, signed up with UNAIDS in May 2006 as Special Representative and has dedicated time and effort to raise awareness on HIV issues through the mass media and the world of sport. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup Michael Ballack was featured in social marketing advertisements in the German magazine Der Spiegel and in the 60 th anniversary issue of TIME magazine. Ballack has also used new media to draw attention to the issue by posting AIDS awareness messages on his own web site  http://www.michael-ballack.com/.

Football is one of the most popular sports worldwide and sports stars such as Michael Ballack can be important role models for many young people. Sport is also a force for change as it can build self-esteem and important life skills.


Read statements from participants
Watch Michael Ballack's Public Service Announcement (PSA) (Video will open in a new window)

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