Sunday, May 14, 2006

Naomi Watts: UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador

Australian actress Naomi Watts, who is known for her hollywood glamour and simplicity on the red carpet has been nominated as UN special representative to raise awareness of Aids and HIV worldwide.

There are about 40 million reported cases of HIV, the virus that can lead to Aids. Unfortunately, there are strong misconceptions of this virus in which it is ignorantly looked at as taboo. Yes, HIV and Aids are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) but their infection can be in other forms such as unsanitary needles (mainly found in poor parts of the world) and may infect different people, heterosexual men and women of all ages including children.

Since UN Secretary General Kofi Anan was appointed he has concentrated his efforts and budget in Africa, and strengthened Aids programs in a region with the highest HIV/Aids rates: 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV. During the 2001 UN Millenium Summit in Johannesburg, HIV/Aids was on the top Millenium Development Goals to halt and reverse the spread of this virus by 2015.

There is a growing phenomena of celebrities using their celebrity status to create awareness on humanitarian issues by becoming UN Special Representatives, other celebrities include Nicole Kidman as UNIFEM Ambassador promoting womens' issues, and Angelina Jolie as UN "goodwill" ambassador to UNHCR: UN High Commission for Refugees. (Note: home-wrecker and husband stealer do not count as goodwill!!)

Good Luck Naomi! There's 18 more days until the 2006 High Level Meeting on AIDS at UN headquarters in the world's fashion capital: NYC! Hope you keep up that fabulous 2004 Oscars, Versace image we still have of you.


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