Swiss tennis player Timea Bacsinszky has been named by UNAIDS as their Global Advocate for young people.
Bacsinszky is currently ranked 17 in the world, with a career high ranking of nine. In her new role for the United Nation’s HIV/AIDS programme she wants to ensure that young people have access to information on HIV and how to test for it. A major priority for her work with the project is to draw attention to how a younger generation can protect themselves from contracting HIV.
The announcement of her new role was made on Monday at the Women’s Tennis Association Ladies Championship in Gstaad. As an ambassador for the UN programme Bacsinszky will also need to motivate young people to get tested for the virus.
“My generation has never known a world without HIV,” she was quoted as saying in a press release from UNAIDS, adding “we have the power to change this for future generations”.
Out of the 36.7 million people in the world who have HIV, 3.9 million are young people between the ages 15 to 24.
Bacsinszky was born in Lausanne in 1989 to Hungarian parents. She has an unusual career path behind her. She reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros juniors in 2004, and won her first WTA tournament in 2009.
However, in 2012 she considered leaving tennis altogether to study at the Geneva Hotel School and started a three-month internship at a five-star hotel in the Swiss Alps, the Chalet Royalp, around 30km from Montreux.
In 2013, she found a renewed love for the sport and got back into the game again at a professional level.
swissinfo.ch and agencies