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WHO appoints Chinese singer and health activist as Goodwill Ambassador

3 June 2011

Acclaimed Chinese vocal artist, Ms Peng Liyuan, was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS today by the WHO's Director-General Margaret Chan.

Raising international attention on tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS

As a WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Ms Peng will raise international attention on these two diseases, which together were responsible for the deaths of more than 3.5 million people in 2009. In addition, she will advocate for stronger action to ensure those in need can access prevention, care and treatment services.

"I am delighted that Ms Peng Liyuan has agreed to represent the WHO as a Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS," said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. "Her appointment will have a lasting impact in bringing awareness to two of the world's deadliest infectious diseases and the recent advances that have been made in the areas of prevention and treatment of TB and HIV."

"Ms Peng has captured the attention of millions of fans through her compelling performances," Dr. Chan continued. "Through her increased profile on a global platform, she will reinforce international commitments to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals, set for 2015."

Ms Peng Liyuan

As one of the most popular vocal artists in China, Ms Peng has an enormous following that spans millions of people. She has won numerous awards for her singing as well as her humanitarian work. For more than five years, Ms. Peng has been working with the Chinese Ministry of Health to spread awareness about preventable diseases.

"It is a great honour to be given this important role by WHO," Ms Peng said at today's inauguration ceremony at WHO headquarters in Geneva. "I hope to make a significant contribution to the great work of WHO in saving lives from TB and HIV/AIDS, and that my involvement will benefit those who are at most risk."

Addressing the tuberculosis and HIV epidemics are key priorities for WHO. In 2009, there were an estimated 9.4 million new TB cases worldwide, of which an estimated 1.1 million were among people living with HIV. TB also caused 1.7 million deaths including 380 000 among HIV positive individuals. In the same year, 2.6 million people became newly infected from HIV, with a total of more than 33 million people living with HIV globally.

In her role as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for TB and HIV, Ms Peng will participate in a series of high profile events to promote concerted action on the two diseases and to tackle the diseases together given that people living with HIV are more likely to develop tuberculosis.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Glenn Thomas
WHO Stop TB Department
Mobile: +41 79 509 0677

Ms Tunga Namjilsuren
WHO HIV/AIDS Department
Mobile: +41 79 203 3176