Kenneth Cole named UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador

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Kenneth Cole, American fashion designer and new UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador. Photo: UN Radio/L. Jarriel

There is a window of time where AIDS can be ended as a public health crisis if the appropriate resources are brought to bear, Kenneth Cole, fashion designer named UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador, has said.

His appointment was announced on Tuesday at the UN in New York, on the eve of a High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.

Mr Cole has been a strong advocate and champion for people living with HIV for more than 30 years.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Kenneth Cole, founder of the American fashion house Kenneth Cole Productions, is best known for his footwear, clothing and accessories line.

But the designer has also been using his brand and his ads to provoke dialogue around social issues like homelessness, war and HIV/AIDS.

For the past 30 years, he has been an advocate for an inclusive response to the AIDS epidemic.

Mr Cole has also been working as chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) to accelerate progress towards developing a cure for HIV.

He's now partnering with the UN Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS, to help rally the global community.

"The number of people being put under treatment has surpassed the amount of new infections every year.  There is this window of time where AIDS can be ended as a public health crisis if in fact the appropriate resources generate the will and the resources are brought to bear." 

Kenneth Cole hopes to "marry the collective efforts" of the UN and amfAR to pull resources together and unite under one umbrella to find a cure and end the epidemic.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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