BBC World Service Airs Run-Up to Two-Week ‘AIDS Season’ Programming
The BBC World Service on Wednesday is scheduled to begin the run-up to its two-week "AIDS Season" programming, which will explore the economic and political consequences of the global pandemic, as well as the social, medical, religious and human aspects of HIV/AIDS. "Investigating a global pandemic," the network's "biggest-ever single-themed season," is scheduled to run from Nov. 16 through Dec. 1 and involve radio and online programming across all 43 language services (BBC World Service release, 10/30). "[HIV/AIDS] is one of the most important issues facing our audience," Jenny Waters, BBC World Service project leader of the "AIDS Season," said (BBC On Air, November 2003). The following are summaries of related programming:
- "Discovery: The Story of HIV/AIDS": Wednesdays, beginning Nov. 5. The program chronicles the medical history of HIV/AIDS since the 1980s and notes political and social turning points.
- "Talking Point": Sunday, Nov. 16. The special two-hour interactive program features a panel of policymakers, including UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, who will respond to listeners' phone calls, e-mails and text messages. Listeners may also discuss a BBC-commissioned survey on global knowledge of and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. The poll was conducted in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- "Health Matters": Mondays, beginning Nov. 17. The program examines the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China, India and Russia.
- "HIV -- The Facts": Throughout the season. A series of 16 short programs providing basic medical facts and discussing myths related to HIV/AIDS.
- "Outlook": Monday, Nov. 24 through Friday, Nov. 28. The program reports from a hospital in Chennai, India, that recorded the first AIDS case in India.
- "Westway": Wednesday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 28. The World Service drama series character Dr. Joy Onwukwe, who learned her HIV-positive status one year ago, decides to discuss the diagnosis with her family.
- "The Message": Sunday, Nov. 30 through Monday, Dec. 1. BBC journalist Nigel Wrench explores why HIV prevention messages "have largely failed" and asks global advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to develop a campaign.
- "Heart and Soul -- AIDS and Faith": Wednesdays, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3. The two-part series explores issues in the relationship between AIDS and faith, including how different religions explain the spread of HIV and "practical steps" religioous leaders are taking to help HIV-positive people.
- "AIDS Concert": Saturday, Nov. 22. Sir Ian McKellen hosts a concert including music, poetry and drama.
- "Nelson Mandela Concert": Saturday, Nov. 29. The highlights of "46664," a worldwide phone and Internet initiative named after former South African President Nelson Mandela's prisoner number during his nearly 20-year incarceration at the South African prison on Robben Island. The concert will include artists such as Queen, Beyonce, Bono, Youssou N'Dour, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Eurythmics.