Cricket stars launch global AIDS campaign
04 June 2009
Watch the THINK WISE Public Service Announcements.
Featuring Sri Lankan Batsman Kumar Sangakkara, England international Isa Guha, international cricket stars and local South African children, South African captain Graeme Smith and Indian international Virender Sehwag.
Leading cricketing stars are launching THINK WISE, a new global AIDS awareness campaign designed to provide young people with information about how to protect themselves from HIV.
The players will champion the campaign during the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 2009, which begins in London on Friday 5 June. This leg of the campaign will aim to improve education and awareness about HIV and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease.
Around 10 million people living with HIV live in Test playing countries. This accounts for over a quarter of people across the world living with the virus.
I have seen firsthand the impact that HIV has had in my country. I hope that cricket fans and youngsters around the world can respect the disease and also those living with HIV. By making informed decisions we can help reduce new infections and develop strong communities.
Graeme Smith, Captain of the South African cricket team
Graeme Smith, captain of the South African cricket team and THINK WISE Champion said: “I have seen firsthand the impact that HIV has had in my country. I hope that cricket fans and youngsters around the world can respect the disease and also those living with HIV. By making informed decisions we can help reduce new infections and develop strong communities.”
Five new Public Service Announcements featuring messages from the Sri Lankan cricket captain, Kumar Sangakkara, Graeme Smith, one of India’s leading batsmen, Virender Sehwag, and England women’s cricket star Isa Guha, will be shown during the tournament on big screens in stadia and aired by broadcasters across the globe. Players will also wear red ribbons to show their support during the semi-finals and finals of the tournament.
The THINK WISE initiative builds on a long-term partnership between the ICC, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNICEF and the Global Media AIDS Initiative, that for more than five years has reached out to the cricketing community to respond to the global AIDS epidemic.
The THINK WISE partnership seeks to educate cricket players, coaches, commentators, broadcasters, volunteers and spectators about the AIDS epidemic, particularly around prevention, and deliver these messages at major ICC events and through broadcast which reaches an audience in excess of 200 countries.
The THINK WISE partnership will expand later this year to include a new cricket for development initiative that will deliver HIV messages to young people. An announcement is expected to take place during the ICC Champions Trophy 2009, hosted by South Africa at the end of September.