Mandela Foundation Launches New Awareness Campaign Urging South Africans To Volunteer in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
The Nelson Mandela Foundation on Tuesday launched a new HIV/AIDS awareness campaign that urges people to volunteer with nongovernmental AIDS groups to fight the disease in South Africa, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, Reuters reports. The campaign is part of the foundation's 46664 AIDS campaign, according to Reuters. The new project includes a television HIV/AIDS awareness advertisement featuring former South African President Nelson Mandela and actor Brad Pitt, News24.com reports (News24.com, 11/22). In the ad, Mandela says that HIV-positive people "are our brothers and sisters, and they are entitled to our compassion and support," according to Agence France-Presse. Pitt, who serves as the foundation's ambassador for AIDS, says, "We must act and act now" (Agence France-Presse, 11/22). In addition to the ad, the campaign on Tuesday launched an AIDS volunteer telephone hotline (News24.com, 11/22). The hotline will be coordinated by the Mandela Foundation and seeks "to promote a national spirit of volunteerism," according to SABC News. John Samuel, CEO of the Mandela Foundation, said that the hotline "attempts to bring as many South Africans into the issue of HIV/AIDS," adding, "There is a need to ensure that many people are willing and capable to help fight this scourge" (SABC News, 11/22).
A kaisernetwork.org webcast of an event sponsored by the 46664 campaign that featured Mandela at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand in July is available online.