Actor Mateus Solano named as UNAIDS National Goodwill Ambassador
29 August 2014
UNAIDS appointed Brazilian actor Mateus Solano, best known for his role in the popular television soap opera Amor à Vida, as its first National Goodwill Ambassador for Brazil on 22 August.
Mr Solano’s character in the show gave the first gay kiss on Brazilian television. The kiss, which was widely watched across the country, inspired millions to reflect on stigma and discrimination, and is considered to be an important step forward in the struggle against discrimination in Brazil. In his new role, Mr Solano will promote human rights and be a spokesperson against discrimination, one of the factors that makes people vulnerable to HIV infection.
Mr Solano’s popularity is expected to bring young people closer to the AIDS response in the country. In 2013, in Brazil 730 000 people were living with HIV and 44 000 people became newly infected with the virus.
"Now, more than ever, we need to raise awareness, particularly among young people, about the best ways to prevent HIV and treat AIDS and, above all, to end all types of discrimination."
"Unfortunately, the youth who saw the beginning of the epidemic 30 years ago had little access to information, and this made them extremely vulnerable to HIV. Nowadays, although young people have access to information and education, for some reason they are not taking care of themselves as they should be."
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