International cricket teams to support World AIDS Day
As part of World AIDS Day 2003, cricket teams playing international matches on or around 1 December have committed to wearing red ribbons as a sign of support for the millions of people around the world living with HIV and AIDS.
Teams participating in the following matches will be supporting the initiative:
30 Nov - Zimbabwe v West Indies, One Day International match
1 Dec - Pakistan v New Zealand, One Day International match
2 Dec - Sri Lanka v England, Test match
World AIDS Day is commemorated around the globe on 1 December. It celebrates progress made in the battle against the epidemic -- and brings into focus remaining challenges.
This year's World AIDS Day highlights `Live and Let Live' -- the theme of the World AIDS Campaign 2002 -2003. The campaign focuses on eliminating stigma and discrimination, the major obstacles to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
The Red Ribbon is the global symbol for solidarity with people living with HIV/AIDS and it unites people in the common fight against this disease.
In September this year the International Cricket Council (ICC) entered into a strategic alliance with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to take up the fight against HIV/AIDS in cricket-playing countries.
"The threat of HIV/AIDS in many of the countries in which cricket is played is acute and it is in keeping with the spirit of cricket that the ICC exercises this social responsibility," said ICC President Ehsan Mani.
Of the estimated 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, over 12 million live in cricket playing countries. In India and South Africa alone, over 9 million people are living with HIV or AIDS.
Despite the current low HIV prevalence in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the potential for HIV to spread is high if prevention efforts are not scaled up rapidly.
In Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, current trends indicate a rise in sexually transmitted infections and unsafe sex, increasing the risk of HIV. In the cricket playing Caribbean countries (which play collectively as the West Indies), HIV is spreading rapidly.
"By sporting the red ribbon, the cricket teams of England, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and West Indies have shown solidarity with the millions of people affected by AIDS world wide. The ICC-UNAIDS campaign to run out AIDS will play a vital role in the fight against AIDS in cricket playing countries," said Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
The International Cricket Council and UNAIDS will also be auctioning a full set of ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 signed bats from 1 to 10 December 2003 on eBay.co.uk to raise funds for a HIV/AIDS project in India. Visit www.icc.cricket.org/unaids to find out more and place a bid.
The partnership with UNAIDS is supported by all of the ICC's Full Member countries. For more information about World AIDS Day visit www.unaids.org.
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