UNICEF and UNAIDS on Monday appointed Hong Kong action movie star Jackie Chan as a U.N. goodwill ambassador, Reuters reports. The organizations hope that Chan's popularity in Asian countries will raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in the region, which is "fast becoming the new front line" in the fight against the disease, according to Reuters (Madra, Reuters, 4/26). The announcement was made at a press conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, at the start of Chan's three-day visit to the country (Leitsinger, Associated Press, 4/26). Chan on Monday met with HIV-positive young people, and he was scheduled to visit Siem Raep on Tuesday to meet Buddhist monks who are helping children and families affected by HIV/AIDS (Agence France-Presse, 4/26). An estimated 2.6% of Cambodia's 13 million people are HIV-positive, and the country is the most affected by the epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region, according to UNAIDS (Reuters, 4/26). "We are confident that Jackie's prestige, great talent and genuine concern for children will help the United Nations send a powerful message on the impact of HIV/AIDS and conflict on children," UNICEF's Rodney Hatfield said (BBC News, 4/26). "I will be calling upon many people to help us fight against HIV/AIDS and to put an end to the senseless discrimination aimed at those who suffer from it," Chan said (Xinhuanet/China View, 4/26). Chan added, "Let me know whatever I can do. Wherever I can go, I promise you, I'll do it" (Reuters, 4/26).
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