Press Release: UNAIDS appoints Pia Wurtzbach as Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific
MANILA, 3 May 2017—UNAIDS has appointed Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach as Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific. The announcement was made at a special event with students at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
Many young people still do not have the skills and knowledge to protect themselves from HIV,” said Steve Kraus, Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific. “With her huge popularity among young fans and immense following on social media, Pia will amplify our efforts and help end the AIDS epidemic in the region.”
In her new role, Ms Wurtzbach will raise HIV awareness among young people, as well as promote zero discrimination towards people living with HIV and key populations including men who have sex with men and transgender people.
“Knowledge is power. Knowledge is cool and I want young people to know the facts and stand up to HIV,” said Ms Wurtzbach. “I am honoured that UNAIDS has given me a great platform to speak up for the AIDS movement, a cause which is close to my heart.”
Ms Wurtzbach has been actively involved in humanitarian affairs, speaking out against cyber bullying and supporting people living with HIV as well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. During her reign as Miss Universe, she had an HIV test in front of cameras to encourage people to know their HIV status, as well as attended the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, USA.
The event was attended by young people from different universities in the Metro Manila area, as well as UN and university representatives, government officials, the media and the Act!2030 Philippines network and other community groups representing young people and key populations.
The Asia and Pacific region has made progress in its HIV response, with new infections dropping 5% among people of all ages between 2010 and 2015. However in 2015, young people accounted for 37% of new HIV infections and data analysis indicates that there is a significant epidemic of HIV among an increasingly younger group of men who have sex with men in urban areas of South-east Asia and China.
Surveys conducted in eight countries in Asia find that comprehensive knowledge of HIV among young people is low, increasing their vulnerability to HIV. UNAIDS and its partners are conducting an HIV awareness campaign for youth on social media with the hashtag #Live2LUV and Ms Wurtzbach will be helping to promote this campaign as part of her new advocacy role.
UNAIDS Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok) | Saya Oka | tel. +66 2 680 4128 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.