Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Singer, actress and TV host Vera Brezhneva was appointed as a UNAIDS Regional Goodwill Ambassador in November 2014. Enjoying a large outreach and popularity across the eastern Europe and central Asia region, Ms Brezhneva will focus on raising awareness around issues related to women and children affected by HIV.

Ms Brezhneva has long been involved in humanitarian affairs and charity work and has a keen interest in public health issues. She is the President of a local nongovernmental organization that supports and delivers medical devices to clinics and hospitals.

“I am determined to make a difference in the lives of women and girls living with HIV in this region,” said Ms Brezhneva. “I have spoken with many women living with HIV. They are beautiful, strong women who face serious challenges, including discrimination from health workers and even their own families.”

Since her appointment, Ms Brezhneva has been actively using her popularity to generate attention to the HIV epidemic in eastern Europe and central Asia. She has visited a number of countries in the region, where she met with health officials, people living with HIV, women, children and youth affected by HIV. In addition, Ms Brezhneva has featured in a number of outreach campaigns, social media initiatives and press interviews on key HIV issues.

Ms Brezhneva has represented her region at the United Nations in New York, attending a number of high-level events, including the Every Woman Every Child event hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General at the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women. She reminded participants that work is still needed to ensure that every child is born free from HIV and called for the removal of barriers that prevent women from accessing essential sexual and reproductive health-care services.