Showtime’s ‘Soul Food’ To Air AIDS-Related Episode as Part of KNOW HIV/AIDS Campaign
The cable television network Showtime on Wednesday is scheduled to air an HIV/AIDS-related episode of its show "Soul Food" as part of a year-long awareness campaign sponsored by Showtime parent company Viacom and the Kaiser Family Foundation (Showtime release, 4/12). KNOW HIV/AIDS is a campaign aimed at raising HIV/AIDS awareness through public service announcements, television and radio programming and free print and online content. The campaign -- which includes media placements valued at more than $200 million in 2004 -- 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. In 2003, the initiative created 49 television, radio and outdoor ads. The 2004 campaign will include 40 targeted ads -- including some of the ads created for last year's campaign -- that will run across Viacom's broadcast networks CBS and UPN; cable networks MTV, BET, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, TV Land, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike TV and Comedy Central; 185 Infinity Broadcasting radio stations; and on billboards, buses and bus shelters. In addition, MTV, MTV International, Nickelodeon, BET, VH1, Showtime, Sundance Channel and Infinity Broadcasting are planning to air special HIV/AIDS-related programming throughout the year (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/2). In the episode, titled "Angelitos Negros," Kelvin, the brother of lead character Kenny, discloses that he is HIV-positive and talks about being "wracked with guilt about the ruined lives of the women he has infected," according to a Showtime release. Upon learning about Kelvin's HIV-positive status, the female characters engage in a conversation about HIV/AIDS among African Americans and share their personal experiences. In addition, actress Vanessa Williams, who plays Maxine on "Soul Food," provides commentary on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community (Showtime release, 4/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.