Asian pop band “JYJ” appointed as UNAIDS Regional Goodwill Ambassador
BUSAN, South Korea, 26 August 2011—“JYJ,” a three-member Korean pop (K-pop) band from the Republic of Korea, have been named UNAIDS Regional Goodwill Ambassadors for Asia and the Pacific. Formed in 2010, JYJ has a large following among young people in the Republic of Korea, across Asia and beyond.
“Jae joong, Yoochan and Jun su (JYJ) are going to make a big difference in the AIDS response through the UNAIDS Ambassadorship,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “With their incredible popularity and influence in the Republic of Korea and beyond, I count on them to reach millions of young people in this region and worldwide with important HIV messages,” he added.
As UNAIDS Regional Goodwill Ambassadors, JYJ will take part in a number of events and public appearances—including a performance at the Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP10), a gathering of AIDS experts and activists from 26-30 August 2011 in Busan, South Korea. Through these and other events, JYJ will raise awareness around HIV and join the effort to end AIDS-related stigma and discrimination. They will also highlight AIDS issues through their social media networks.
“Young people in our country, and across Asia, need to know more about avoiding HIV infection,” said JYJ band member Jae joong at a press conference in Busan to announce the UNAIDS appointment. “Knowledge and awareness can help people protect themselves and break down stigma and discrimination.” His band-mate Yoochun concurred, adding: “AIDS has been here since before I was born. Our generation can be the one that ends it!”
“We can reach the goals of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths,” said Jun su, the third JYJ band member. “We are very proud to participate in this cause.”
JYJ have previously been involved in a number of charitable activities. They have made major donations to relief operations in disaster-struck areas of Japan, as well as to child health campaigns. Underlining their commitment to the AIDS response, JYJ recently accepted the role of ‘Official Ambassador’ for ICAAP10.
Globally, an estimated 41% of people who have recently become HIV-positive are younger than the age of 25. In Asia and the Pacific, young people from key affected populations— including young sex workers, men who have sex with men, and adolescent drug users— face a particularly high risk of HIV infection as well as high levels of stigma and discrimination.