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HIV :: Basketball star Yao Ming slam-dunks for UN effort to end HIV stigma in China

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is partnering with basketball star Yao Ming, Chinese actor Pu Cunxin, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the non-governmental organization (NGO) Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center to minimize the stigma attached to those living with HIV/AIDS in China.

The groundbreaking campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with the disease and also targets the inclusion of family members, neighbours, co-workers and friends living with HIV/AIDS into our lives.

A new poster shows Mr. Yao and Mr. Pu together with young people from AIDS-impacted communities, with the message, ?We have the same feelings, the same dreams, the same life. HIV/AIDS will not affect our friendship. We are friends!?

Over 200,000 of these posters, which were designed by people living with HIV, university students and NGOs, will be distributed nationwide, including in maternal health centres and community clinics. The posters will also be translated into three minority languages, Tibetan, Uygur and Jinbo (Yunnan), and will be distributed in ethnic minority areas such as schools and festival events.

?We trust this campaign will help disseminate our common stand for positive action, care and full integration of people living with HIV and AIDS in our global society,? said Alessandra Tisot, UNDP?s Senior Deputy Resident Representative in China.

The new campaign ? in collaboration with the UN Children?s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Chinese Government organizations and NGOs ? also developed educational materials such as discussion guides and mini-documentaries.

It also draws on a previous effort to dispel misconceptions about the spread of HIV/AIDS, including a poster campaign featuring Mr. Yao and legendary NBA player Magic Johnson.

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