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UN and global cricket body to fight HIV/AIDS

UN programme partners with global cricket body to fight HIV/AIDS

The Joint United Nations programme on AIDS and the International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that they have joined forces to use the popular sport to raise public awareness of the pandemic, particularly among young people.

"Cricket is played in some of the countries hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. By working with the ICC and its member National Cricket Boards around the world, we hope to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and inform young people how to protect themselves from HIV," Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Executive Director Peter Piot said.

ICC will work with the agency to integrate information on the disease in activities around cricket tournaments. It will also incorporate UNAIDS education and training messages and materials its global development programme and encourage National Cricket Boards to support issues in various countries.

"The threat of HIV/AIDS in many of the communities in which cricket is played is acute," ICC President Ehsan Mani said in Mumbai, India, during the announcement of the collaboration. "I hope that through this partnership the ICC is able to play its part in helping UNAIDS turn the HIV/AIDS epidemic around."

Of the estimated 42 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 the pandemic.

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