3 December, 2015
AIDS-free World
UNICEF's 10th Charity Run, on the anniversary on the eve of World AIDS day, a success

In 2014, about 1.2 million deaths were caused by, and 36.9 million people were living with, HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2015). It's a hard statistic to realise. Fortunately, many are taking action to make a difference to those living with AIDS and their families, as well as toward continued research in the fight against it.
UNICEF HK has been organising its Charity Run since 2006 to raise funds for the ‘Unite for children, Unite against AIDS’ global campaign, aiming to realise the version of an AIDS-free world. The 10th anniversary of Charity Run this year held on last Sunday before World AIDS day at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The Chief Executive of the HKSAR, the Honourable Leung Chun-ying, over 40 corporate leaders, and over 13,000 runners joined the event and showed their support for ‘AIDS to ZERO’. This year, Thomas Kiprotich and Richards Jane won the Men's and Women's Half Marathon Overall Championship respectively. 
For the past 10 years, over 98,000 runners have supported UNICEF Charity Run, and more than HK$77.5 million, including the HK$11 million have been raised to support UNICEF’s global campaign.
Chairman of UNICEF HK, Ms Judy Chen, expressed her gratitude to all supporters and shared the significant achievements of the campaign: “UNICEF and partners have successfully averted more than 1.1 million mother-to-child HIV transmission and reduced AIDS-related deaths by more than 40 per cent through the ‘one pill daily’ and other treatment."
However, more has to be done to achieve a real AIDS-free world. There are still 600 children are being infected with HIV through their mother’s pregnancy, child-birth or breastfeeding EVERY DAY. Ongoing support is needed, and UNICEF is committed to continuing their fundraising and awareness work.
Ms Guo Jing-jing, UNICEF HK Ambassador said, “It’s very meaningful to run for children in developing countries, with the vision of achieving and AIDS-free world. I hope everyone will continue to support UNICEF on promoting children’s well-being”.
Dr. Angela Leung, a local healthcare worker who has supported UNICEF Charity Run since 2007, summed it up nicely: Achieving an AIDS-free world is like running a marathon. Although the finishing line is far away, I would keep on telling myself, for each step I march forward, I get one step closer to the finishing line. As long as we do not give up, we can definitely accomplish the mission!”
With the joint effort of UNICEF and its partners, today 3 in 5 HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV receive treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission. The number of new infections among children has also been significantly reduced.
An important part of the fight against AIDS is compassion for, and understanding of, people who live with it. Many of us are connected with people living with AIDS. Show your support to infected HIV patients - shake their hand and give them a hug, and educate yourself with knowledge about the condition.
“It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance.” – Elizabeth Taylor

By: Ecozine Staff


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