New Delhi, Bollywood actor Preity Zinta, who was Thursday appointed as the goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS in India, will create awareness against AIDS along with the members of her Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab.
“All our players will sport red ribbons during their matches. In our first match against Delhi Daredevils, we will take an HIV positive person to the toss to convey our message against stigma and discrimination,” Preity said here.
“Me and my team will produce a short commercial to spread awareness against the disease. I will be there, our captain Kumar Sangakkara and other players will also be there,” she added.
Besides, Kings XI Punjab will donate 25 percent of the profit they will earn from selling their merchandise to UNAIDS, which will decide its usage for the betterment of HIV positive people.
On being appointed goodwill ambassador for UNAIDS, Preity said: “I have done many roles. This one is different. I am very happy.”
“All human beings, wherever we are, have the basic right to be happy and healthy. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the realities faced by people living with HIV to the forefront and to call for attention to the injustices faced by them,” she said.
Preity will work to create awareness on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, with an emphasis on women, children and oppressed classes, the UN body said.
“Goodwill ambassadors are celebrities with a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of people living with HIV. Highly talented in their own right, they all share an ability to bring issues to global attention, to galvanize support from the public and leading decision makers, and to raise urgently needed support and attention for vital UN programmes,” Charles Gilks, country coordinator, UNAIDS, said.
“I am very pleased to appoint Preity Zinta as UNAIDS’ special representative,” Gilks added.
India is home to at least 2.3 million HIV positive people.