Aishwarya RaiNew York: Bollywood star and Indian jewel Aishwarya Rai Bachchan became UN HIV/AIDS envoy. According to sources she has been appointed as the new international Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, the joint UN programme on AIDS and HIV. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe on the sidelines of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly made the announcement at the UN headquarters. Now Aish will help raise awareness on issues related to stopping new HIV infections in children and advocate for increased access to anti-retroviral treatment.

Reacting to the news Aishwarya said, “I am honoured to accept this appointment. Spreading awareness on health issues specially related to women and children has always been a priority for me and now as a new mother I can personally relate to this — the joys and concerns of every mother and the hopes that we have for our children.” Her main focus will be to advocate for the global plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive. This plan was launched at the UN in June 2011 and focuses on 22 countries including India, which account for more than 90 per cent of all new HIV infections among children.

Aishwarya said, “I promise that with UNAIDS I will do my utmost to make this happen,” she said. Sidibe said through Aishwarya’s global outreach he is convinced that she will be able to help UNAIDS reach its goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015. UNAIDS, which is focused on working towards universal access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support, said 34.2 million people were living with HIV in 2011.

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