Sehwag urges fans to stop discrimination against HIV

Last Updated: Mar 04, 2011, 17:38 PM IST

Bangalore: Virender Sehwag on Friday took some time out of his busy schedule ahead of India`s encounter against Ireland on Sunday to meet people affected with life consuming HIV infection.

The opening batsman called on cricket fans across the world to stop discriminating against people living with the virus and said that there needs to be more awareness about the infection.

"I think that too many people stigmatise those people living with HIV but they are no different from anybody else and we need to eliminate discrimination against those living with the disease from society. There also needs to be more awareness of what it means to be living with HIV," the cricketer said.

Sehwag made his plea after visiting the Haji Sir Ismail Sait Ghosha hospital here where he met people affected with HIV.

The gesture comes as part of `Think Wise campaign`, which aims to create awareness among the young people, take appropriate action to prevent HIV infection and stand together against the stigma and discrimination often faced by people living with the dreaded virus.

Sehwag is one of the leading players supporting the campaign, a partnership between the ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF, at the Cricket World Cup, and he believes cricketers are in a position to make a difference.

"As cricketers, particularly in a country like India, we are in a position to help influence attitudes and behavior and by being involved in the Think Wise campaign hopefully I can play my part in this," the 32-year-old said.

"Wearing a red ribbon on our playing shirts, as we do at all ICC events, is a fantastic way to show our support for people living with HIV and I am looking forward to wearing the ribbon on my shirt in the latter stages of this event," he added.

PTI