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Kiwi wins HIV-AIDS awareness competition

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF NZ)
Media Release

Kiwi wins international HIV-AIDS awareness competition

Wellington, 31 July 2008. – A New Zealander is among 10 people from around the world to win a video camera and the chance to film a short piece about HIV-AIDS to be broadcast internationally.

Tresta Rix (22) of Whangarei entered the MTV-UNICEF Vlogit Competition with a script proposal based on the experiences of a friend who had to battle with discrimination and ignorance after becoming HIV positive.

More than 100 people world-wide entered the competition. Ten entrants were selected to receive a video camera with which to film a three minute video clip. Ms Rix plans to do filming on her dad’s farm, adding her friend’s story in a voice over.

Ms Rix says that she decided to enter the competition as a way to educate people about the impact of discrimination on people with HIV-AIDS in the hope that they would become more understanding.

UNICEF NZ Executive Director Dennis McKinlay says that initiatives like the Vlogit Competition are important because they raise awareness of HIV-AIDS and the discrimination that people can face.

‘Stigma and discrimination are among the greatest barriers to dealing effectively with the HIV-AIDS epidemic.

‘Stigma and discrimination work to inhibit those who know they are infected from sharing their diagnosis and taking action to protect others, and from seeking treatment and care for themselves.’

The United Nations estimates that more than 33 million people are living with HIV, two million of whom are children under 15 years of age.

‘I would like to congratulate Ms Rix on winning the competition and tackling such a difficult subject. Hopefully others will be inspired by her work and take part in next year’s event.

Of the other competition winners, two each are from Denmark and the Philippines, and one each from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Singapore, and Indonesia.

MTV in the United States will prepare completed videos for broadcast and distribute them rights free to networks and affiliates around the world.

a.. The 17th International AIDS Conference will be held in Mexico City, Mexico 3-8 August 2008. More information online at www.aids2008.org

ENDS

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