Sri Lanka cricket team visit HIV infected persons in India

By Staff Writers (with inputs from an ICC media release)

March 15, 2011 (Island Cricket): The Sri Lankan cricket team, currently in India for their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Group-A clash against New Zealand on March 18, took time off from their training session today at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) ground to lend their support to the ICC’s Think Wise campaign – a partnership between the ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF that hopes to use the power of cricket to help tackle key issues surrounding HIV-AIDS.

Kumar SangakkaraThe players met several local community members from the MSM and Hijra communities, including female sex workers from Kamathipura, several of them HIV positive, to understand what it means to be living with homophobia, transphobia, gender violence and HIV and to broaden their understanding of the their issues, such as stigma and discrimination, facing people from high risk.

Kumar Sangakkara, a Champion for the Think Wise campaign, a partnership between the ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF, believes society must better understand what it means to be discriminated against because you are gay, transgendered or suffer the stigma of being a female sex worker and also living with HIV.

"It was interesting to have the opportunity to meet people who are infected by HIV and understand some of their issues that they face on a day-to-day basis," said Sangakkara.

"What came very clear to me during the interaction was that although the people I met may be very different from us in terms of their sexual or gender identity, and living a very different life to the one we do as players, we still have so much in common. These minority groups are no different to anybody else and they must not be discriminated against."

The Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara believes that the Think Wise partnership is well placed to impact on attitudes towards stigma and discrimination among sexual minorities and sex workers and people living with HIV.

"The Sri Lanka team, through the Think Wise partnership, has always tried to support HIV awareness and the fight against stigma and discrimination.

"To be personally involved in this partnership is very important to me. Through my role I have been able to visit community groups across the world at ICC events and understand the varying challenges that face people living with HIV and the efforts being made to prevent discrimination and infection."

"Using our profile as international cricketers, hopefully we can ensure that the Think Wise campaign not only eliminates stigma and discrimination against sexual minorities, sex workers and people living from HIV, but also encourages young people to have an open mind so they are better empowered to protect themselves from HIV."

The Think Wise campaign encourages young people to be informed, take appropriate action to prevent HIV infection, and stand together against the stigma and discrimination often facing people living with HIV. Although UNAIDS announced that new HIV infections had fallen by 20 per cent between 2001 and 2009, more than 7,000 people were infected each day in 2009 and one out of every three of these was a young person aged between 15 and 24 years.

Players will have a series of interactions with local community groups supported by UNAIDS and UNICEF throughout the three host countries. Teams will wear red ribbons on their shirts in key matches during the competition (in all quarter-finals, semi-finals and final) as a show of support for people living with HIV. In addition, HIV prevention messages will be promoted at venues on all match days, including during the national anthem ceremonies.

Young adults taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup schools programme in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka have already received HIV education sessions as part of the Think Wise programme.

Comments

Gavin's picture
Member since:
27 November 2009
Last activity:
3 years 26 weeks

Isn't homosexuality illegal in Sri Lanka? The captain is spreading a worthy message but in our own country there is intolerance to such individuals.

Shehara's picture
Member since:
22 February 2011
Last activity:
3 years 27 weeks

Who said its illegal gavin?

infidel's picture
Member since:
30 December 2010
Last activity:
2 years 11 weeks

there are more important things to worry about in this world , for example;
1) eradicating poverty in sri lanka
2) racism
3) corruption
etc...
he can speak out for any of these things instead of defending f***ots.
It is not like they have no control over what they are doing yet they still do it. why should we care for them?

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
2 days 23 hours

infidel,

Those are horrible views. It is now widely understood that many are homosexual by birth. It is not a choice.

Hilal's picture
Member since:
20 November 2008
Last activity:
2 days 23 hours

If you think it is a choice, you will have a hard time explaining this:

http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/07/16/homo...

Shehara's picture
Member since:
22 February 2011
Last activity:
3 years 27 weeks

There's no point arguing this here guys. People driven by religion feel it is wrong and a sin and others say it is genetic.

SunJ's picture
Member since:
25 January 2010
Last activity:
5 years 15 weeks

Great initiative,really proud of the guys, @infidel you are just sad..

infidel's picture
Member since:
30 December 2010
Last activity:
2 years 11 weeks

@ sunJ --- I guess eradicating poverty, bringing justice and getting rid of racism is a sad thing to do right??? Are these the morals and principles that you live by??

@hilal--- buddy I respect your opinion but I am not a 'Mouse' so I fail to see how this applies to us HUMAN BEINGS

arapan mata p#KE's picture

dearest infidel... ignorance they say is bliss.. since you are totally ignorant.. i guess it must be "sheer bliss".. .a great pity that.. cause from what i can see u seem to be quite literate and yet homphobic unfortunately.. .while homosexuality is still illegal in this country, homophobia with a few exceptions is thankfully not as rampant . BTW.. gay is the politically correct word not faggot, queer or as some "local homophobians" might like to call gay people.. "PONNAYAS". the fact that kumar and the team have gone and met people from the hijra community,sex workers(both gay and straight)and people afflicted with HIV is to be commended and praised to the fullest. while aknowledging that RACISM,POVERTY,CORRUPTION,WANTON WASTE,CHILD ABUSE,SEXUAL ABUSE,SUBSTANCE ABUSE,ECT are as important(perhaps..more BUT definitely not .. LESS)THE FACT that a national team with such a high profile has decided to collectively throw their weight behind HIV AIDS and thereby raise awareness among the less enlightened about the dangers there-of irrespective of whether ones orientation is "gay" or " straight".. is a fantastic initiative. The only sad thing for me is that they havent taken the same initiative with the sri lankans of the "SAME".. .I sincerely hope that after thay come back from india that thay spend a "little" bit of time with the hiv patients, gay and straight "sex" workers ect from sri lanka as well. I am sure that the local "rainbow community" would appreciate it very much.after all i believe that charity should begin at home... specailly since the value of the sri lankan rupee is only half the value of its indian counterpart. .apart from this small grumble .... kudos to kumar and the team .infidel.. allah is not known as "allah the merciful " for nothing now is he? perhaps being a "second class" citizen in a country where being "gay" is accepted and legal and may i add well tolerated is hard for you to stomach that you are losing sight of the bigger picture .and in the process showing your self to being a "homophobian". BTW.. do let me know through these pages if at any point you decide to form an organisation which will fight all the "imporatnt issues"such as poverty,corruption ect. NOT ONLY WILL I JOIN YOU IN SUCH A NOBLE ENDEAVOUR BUT I ASSURE YOU THAT I WILL ENLIST THE FULLEST AND UTMOST SUPPORT OF MY 'gay'{AND VERY happy} friends as well. we definitely wont hold it against you that you are ramrod straight.MAY allah be merciful to you on your day of judgement for your intolerance towards fellow human beings .last but not least.. two of my best gay friends are zakir from india and hussain from pakistan..sincerely...A. M. P..

infidel's picture
Member since:
30 December 2010
Last activity:
2 years 11 weeks

my dearest dear arapan mata --- so what you are trying to say is that you and the rest of the gay activists on this page would love to see a bunch of naked guys touching each other in inappropriate places??... Am I right??? and you would have no problem with that???

I would also not have a problem if only their 'activites' did not hurt other innocent people like the cute new born baby who is infected with HIV aids because mummy or daddy were doing something they should not have been doing. I feel for these people.

It is truly amazing how the filth of society is being applauded and cheered on while it destroys and posses a potential threat to our future generations in the long run.

if you found a gene that caused people to rape, loot and plunder would you try to defend these people or try and exclude them from society so that the better part of society can be safeguarded against them.

there is no need to raise awareness , any human being with a decent IQ knows or has heard about AIDS in this day and age and DESPITE THIS OUR WONDERFUL GAY FRIENDS DECIDE TO CONTINUE ON THEIR PATH OF LUST.

OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE!!!!

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