Nelson Mandela To Discuss HIV/AIDS With Young People in MTV ‘Staying Alive’ Documentary
Former South African President Nelson Mandela will discuss the HIV/AIDS pandemic with a group of young people in an MTV documentary about his life that is scheduled to air in July, Reuters/Washington Post reports (Majendie, Reuters/Washington Post, 5/7). The 60-minute special, produced by MTV's parent company Viacom, in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, UNAIDS, the World Bank, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Family Health International's YouthNet, will launch the 2003 "Staying Alive" HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. The special will be offered at no cost to broadcasters worldwide (MTV release, 5/7). For the film, Mandela has invited young people from all over the world to his home in Johannesburg to discuss issues that worry them, including HIV/AIDS. Mandela said that half of new HIV infections occur among people under 25 years of age, according to Reuters/Post. "With rising HIV infection rates around the world and the issues of war, terrorism and discrimination, young people now have so many important decisions to make in their lives," Mandela said. Mandela became more involved with the HIV/AIDS issue when he was preparing to leave office in 1999, establishing the Nelson Mandela Foundation that "has played a major role in organizing youth (HIV/AIDS) education programs," according to Reuters/Post. The hour-long MTV documentary about Mandela's life could reach a potential audience of one billion (Reuters/Washington Post, 5/7). In addition to the "Staying Alive" campaign, Viacom, the world's largest media group, and the Kaiser Family Foundation in January launched the year-long "KNOW HIV/AIDS" awareness campaign, aimed at raising HIV/AIDS awareness through public service announcements, television and radio programming and free print and online content. The campaign, which has a total ad placement value of $120 million, is targeted at both the general population and groups hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, such as people under age 25, minorities, women and men who have sex with men. The initiative has already created 49 television, radio and outdoor ads that are appearing on Viacom's television networks CBS and UPN and 200 affiliates; cable outlets MTV, BET, VH1, CMT, MTV2, TV Land, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Showtime, TNN and Comedy Central; more than 180 Infinity radio stations; and on billboards, buses and bus shelters (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.