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Pakistani musician Salman Ahmad to join UN's fight against AIDS

Pakistani musician Salman Ahmad to join UN's fight against AIDS

The United Nations announced today that Salman Ahmad, the popular guitarist and composer of the musical group Junoon, will act as a spokesman in the fight against HIV/AIDS in his native Pakistan.

Mr. Ahmad will be featured in a poster campaign entitled "I care... do you?" developed by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). At the global level, the campaign, which already features UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as well as Danny Glover, Ronaldo and Ricky Martin, aims to involve men more fully in the battle against AIDS.

Salman Ahmad was selected to participate in the World AIDS Campaign in light of his popularity with young people and his forward thinking on social issues. "His background as a medical doctor uniquely equips him with the knowledge necessary to speak with authority on the subject," the UN said in a statement released in Islamabad. "He is committed to talking publicly about the issue and imparting to young people the fact that HIV/AIDS represents a very real threat."

Mr. Ahmad will officially launch the World AIDS Campaign 2001 in Pakistan on Monday. As part of the launch, the UN Information Centre will release a brochure in Urdu and English explaining the upcoming General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS, where 189 Member-States should agree on new measures to tackle this worldwide threat.

While Pakistan reports infection rates much lower than Sub-Saharan Africa, concern for the country and the rest of South Asia is growing rapidly due to the many risks and vulnerabilities present in the region's massive population, the UN said.