Dubai, Jan 25 (PTI) They may be rivals on the field ofplay, but India opener Virender Sehwag and Sri Lanka captainKumar Sangakkara have joined together to star in a new ''ThinkWise campaign'' launched by the ICC today, educating peopleabout HIV/AIDS and how to avoid contracting the disease.
The players feature in a public service announcement,encouraging young people to ''get the facts, protect yourself'',as part of the ICC''s Think Wise partnership with UNAIDS andUNICEF promoting HIV prevention, the game''s world body said ina release.
The campaign has been launched as part of next month''scricket World Cup to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka andBangladesh.
"The ICC Cricket World Cup provides an opportunity to useour profile as cricketers to deliver important social messagesto the hundreds of millions of supporters who will be watchingthe tournament across the world," said Sehwag.
"I hope this public service announcement can encourageyoung people to get the facts and protect themselves from HIV.
While my main focus for this tournament is on helping Indiawin the World Cup, I hope that a legacy of the event will bethat more young people feel comfortable talking about theirrelationships and understand how to protect themselves againstHIV," added the Indian opener.
The campaign will encourage young people to be informed,take appropriate action to prevent HIV infection and standtogether against the stigma and discrimination often facingpeople living with HIV.
The colourful promos, that are 30 and 45 seconds induration, are set to a lively theme tune of "let''s talk" andaim to encourage young people across the globe to discuss HIVprevention.
As part of the programme, Sangakkara encourages fans to"wait, stick to one partner, or use a condom", before Sehwagcalls on young adults to "get the facts, protect yourselfagainst HIV".
"As a Think Wise champion and cricketer, I want to helpeducate young people on how to protect themselves from HIV. Itis important that young people around the world have access tothe right information to help them make informed decisions andbreak down stigma and discrimination.
"Through this public service announcement, I want to helpstop the spread of HIV and encourage young people to get thefacts, talk openly, and protect themselves from HIV," saidSangakkara.
Sehwag and Sangakkara, who are both Think Wise champions,have been active supporters of the partnership since it wasformed in 2003, visiting projects at ICC events and promotingglobal HIV prevention and stigma reduction messages.
Other active supporters in the partnership include GraemeSmith (South Africa), Shakib-Al-Hasan (Bangladesh) andRamnaresh Sarwan (West Indies).