Roger Federer has filmed a public service announcement to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission from mothers to their children. The PSA supports the Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign, launched by UNICEF and UNAIDS to draw attention to the impact of the disease on children and young people. The World No. 1 is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and joins David Beckham, Amitabh Bachchan, Susan Sarandon, Roger Moore, Shakira and basketball stars from the NBA and more than 40 international cricketers in recording a video message about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
In a statement, Federer said, "I’ve seen kids in South Africa [his birth town] who’ve been affected and it’s a very big problem, especially in the poorer countries, [...] It’s important to break down discrimination and stigma. Many people always think ‘I can’t talk to this person’, but I think it’s very important to speak openly about it. Ask your parents, teachers and coaches.”
“Sports have always been a great part of my life. It brings people together, so it’s easier to talk about a subject like HIV, [...] Sport inspires you to move on in life, and it’s important to speak together if you’re playing a team sport.”
“I think if people can help the process, trying to make HIV a thing of the past, I’m willing to help, too,” he said. “It’s a hard subject to talk about. People sometimes try to avoid it – that’s not the way to go.”
The video messages will be broadcast in English, German, and French on December 1 to commemorate World AIDS Day. To see the PSA featuring Federer, click here.
(images via UNICEF.com)