Africa

Victoria Beckham on HIV Mission in Kenya

Victoria Beckham carries out a mission to raise awareness of HIV in Kenya as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNAIDS

October 14th, 2016
Dimitra Giannou, CD News
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UNAIDS is a global action program for the HIV-AIDS epidemic. The UNAIDS mission is to lead, strengthen and support a global response to HIV-AIDS which will prevent the spread of HIV, provide support to those already living with the virus and prevent HIV-AIDS from becoming a serious pandemic.

Mrs. Beckham arrived in the East African country with her son Brooklyn on Thursday 6th October and left on Saturday 8th. The visit was supported by Kenya's Health Ministry in cooperation with Born Free Africa and UNAIDS and aimed to increase public understanding about this serious virus.

The Beckhams’ visit to Kenya was based on reducing new HIV infections among newborn babies and keeping their mothers healthy, as well as the immediate necessity of advertising HIV testing, prolepsis and therapy for young people, especially teenage girls and young women.

Victoria and Brooklyn visited programs with the purpose of decreasing the effects of HIV in Kenya and they also met with community and health workers to understand the problems that they are facing every day and to learn about their successes. They also spent time with children and talked to young people and adults living with or affected by HIV, hearing their stories and experiences. Victoria and Brooklyn also participated in the national football protest 'Maisha kick out HIV stigma' which aims to encourage young people to get HIV tested.

The Goodwill Ambassador of UNAIDS said, “we have come such a long way together to overcome AIDS - we know the facts, we have the tools, but we need commitment, action and funding to see this through! Ending AIDS can happen, but will only happen if we join together and end all forms of stigma and discrimination”.

The official website of UNAIDS estimates that 1.5 million people are living with HIV in Kenya, with about 71,000 new HIV infections among adults in 2015. The website also states that “one third of all new HIV infections occurred among young women and adolescent girls aged 15–24 years, who are at particularly high risk. There were 6600 new HIV infections among children in 2015. The Government of Kenya is committed to ending AIDS and in addition to funding its own national HIV work has recently pledged US$ 5 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and US$ 500 000 to UNAIDS to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030”.

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Cultural Diplomacy News