30 November 2010
New Delhi, India
Bollywood beauty Preity Zinta is out to make the world a better place. After joining hands with Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio to save tigers, the actress is now working to end the stigma and discrimination faced by AIDS patients.
The 35–year–old, who is the goodwill ambassador of UNAIDS, has vowed to work towards the goal of "zero discrimination" on the occasion of World AIDS day which falls on December 1.
"HIV is a reality here in India as it is around the world. Stigma and discrimination because of ignorance about HIV is a big deterrent for people who need to access services, whether it is prevention, to find out whether they have infection and if they need treatment. In this day and age in our country we must stand up and say that discrimination is unacceptable," said the actress.
Zinta said that she is heartbroken to see young children who are infected by the disease through mother–to–child transmission.
"Mother–to–child transmission of HIV particularly upsets me. We should be able to protect every infant in India from HIV but still thousands of infants get infected each year. Over 3 lack Indians are receiving free treatment but nevertheless over one and a half lack of our countrymen and women died from AIDS," said the actress.
Zinta has appealed all to join her in working towards the goal of "zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS–related deaths."
"Each and every one of us has an obligation to do our bit. Let us pledge to end the transmission of HIV from mother to child. Let us pledge to strive for an AIDS free generation. Let us pledge to end discrimination against People living with HIV," said the actress.
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