In response to overwhelming support from the community, the 5km Fun Run is firstly introduced this year to involve more amateur runners to participate in and support the good cause. More, the most popular race among families, 3km Fun Run, will have a new route this year. It is expected that 14,000 runners will participate in the event and raise over HK$10 million for the UNICEF ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ Global Campaign, in support of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and achieving an AIDS-free generation.
|Speaking at today’s press conference at Harbour City, Ms Judy Chen, Chairman of UNICEF HK said: “Over the past years, we witnessed more than 58,000 runners, sweating and running to raise funds to support UNICEF to combat HIV/AIDS. We want to let every runner know that their efforts are not in vain. We have spent all the HK$4,550 million donation raised to support UNICEF’s PMTCT programme.” She continued, “In 2012, almost 1 million women globally received antiretroviral treatment (ART) to prevent transmission of HIV to their children, doubling the number receiving it in 2009. But our work will not stop here. Every day, about 900 babies continue to be born with HIV. We believe no babies should be born with HIV, and if everyone continues to support the prevention work, Zero AIDS is an achievable goal.”|
Mr Aaron Kwok, UNICEF Regional Ambassador (East Asia and Pacific) also attended the press conference and presented souvenirs to representatives of sponsors and supporting organisations to acknowledge their generous contributions. Aaron also appealed for public support to the event.
UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) are now promoting a new, simple ‘one pill daily’ treatment for all pregnant and breastfeeding women. In the past, pregnant women living with HIV had to take multiple pills several times per day – but the new treatment involves just one pill per day – a fixed dose combination of three antiretrovirals. It protects the mother’s health as well as preventing transmission of HIV to the baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. It also prevents HIV transmission to the mother’s sexual partner, and will help reduce the number of orphans who lost one or both parents to AIDS. As long as mothers take their treatment daily, they can breastfeed – give the most nutritious food to their babies safely without worrying about transmitting HIV.
|UNICEF and WHO estimated 26 million people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries will be eligible for ARV drugs under the new guidelines. Progressive full implementation of the guidelines could avert as many as 3 million AIDS-related deaths and 3.5 million new HIV infections between 2013 and 2025.
UNICEF Charity Run has been successfully organised for 7 consecutive years. Co-organised by Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association, it is not only the flagship annual fundraising event for UNICEF HK, but also the second largest distance running event in Hong Kong. With the support of over 58,000 runners and donors’ generous contributions, the UNICEF Charity Run has raised more than HK$45.5 million since 2006.
The event will again be held at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Sunny Bay where the courses are level and scenic. It encompasses scenic spots in Hong Kong including the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Inspiration Lake, and costal area alongside Airport Express station and Sunny Bay. The event is recognised by Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS) and HKAAA. The Half Marathon and 10km routes are verified by the AIMS and HKAAA. Enrollment of the event starts today. Please visit http://run.unicef.org.hk or call 2833 6139 for more details. Let’s run for zero AIDS!
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