Beckham to help fight AIDS

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Beckham to help fight AIDS




It’s probably time to say goodbye to Posh Spice for good - Victoria Beckham is older now, and she wants to help others, not sing teenage anthems.

The fashion designer and former Spice Girl said at United Nations headquarters Thursday that she had to turn 40 before she realized she has an obligation to others - something she hopes to do as a newly-named international goodwill ambassador for the UNAIDS program.

“It’s only now that I realize I have to step forward and do whatever it is that I can do,’’ she said, crediting a recent fact-finding tour to HIV clinics in Cape Town for inspiring her to do more to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

“It was life changing and it made me realize that I can speak on behalf of these women,’’ she said of the people she met in clinics there.

She said she is determined to do all she can to help prevent children from being born with the AIDS virus.

“Babies should not be born with HIV. We can stop that, we’re very, very close to stopping that, which is why I’m sitting here now. We can’t give up. We’re so close. I’m a woman, and a mother, and I want to reach out and help,’’ said Beckham, who is married to retired football star David Beckham.

It was unusual for the often reclusive Beckham to meet with reporters and take questions. She spoke with rare passion about her desire to have an impact, and laughed off the suggestion from one journalist that she wanted to be “England’s answer to Angelina Jolie,’’ the prominent actress who has done extensive work as a UN representative.

“I’m not trying to be anyone other than myself,’’ Beckham said. “I want to learn what I can do.

Executive Director Michel Sidibe said he welcomed Beckham’s commitment.

“I dream of a generation free from HIV and I know that Victoria’s support will help us to achieve this shared goal,’’ he said.

AP


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