Social stigma on HIV/AIDS should be pulled down: Aishwarya

Mumbai, Dec 1 (IANS) Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan feels that communicating about HIV/AIDS is important in order to eliminate the social stigma associated with the disease.

“As long as we keep the communication (on HIV/ AIDS) going, people will remain informed and educated. The perceived social stigma should definitely be pulled down. That will be the day when the issues are more practically discussed and that’s when it becomes more effective,” Aishwarya said during her World AIDS Day message at Cooper Hospital here on Tuesday.

“You actually address it as something that needs attention and what’s the action to follow. You have concerns of the social stigma of feeling gagged to actually communicate, that is what we’re constantly working towards. Once those barriers disappear, the work becomes more effective,” the actress added.

December 1 every year is celebrated as World AIDS Day all over the world and the former beauty queen says that it as important as celebrating festivals.

“Among the many days such as festivals, the World Aids Day is equally important, because you’re drawing attention to something that is a part of humanity, part of our reality, which exists in the world and affects a lot of people,” she said.

“It is a current affair and once it has struck mankind it’ll forever remain a current affair,” she added.

Aishwarya, who has been the Goodwill Ambassador of UNAIDS since 2012, is glad to be a part of the organisation’s cause.

“The United Nations (UN) had been communicating with me me over a while for us to come on board together, as there are lots of causes that need attention.”

“I was glad that at the time I did join hands with UN, it was with UNAIDS. I just wanted to help reach out to a lot of women across the world but largely even in our own country,” she added.

22 celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Shruti Haasan have lent their voices to an animation feature on HIV/ AIDS made by an NGO for schools and youth, which was launched on Tuesday.

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