South Africa Telethon Raises Pledges for Action Rather Than Funds To Fight HIV/AIDS
South Africans on Sunday made more than 155,900 pledges during a telethon that aimed to incite action rather than raise funds to fight HIV/AIDS, the AP/Washington Post reports. Pledges included promises to teach children about the disease, get tested for HIV, volunteer at hospitals and charities, encourage others to wear condoms and support friends living with the disease. The government's HIV information campaign organized the telethon, and local celebrities handled the phone lines. In addition, supermarkets set up collection boxes and police in Johannesburg assembled a mock road block to collect pledges. Organizers hope to obtain one million pledges ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. Though South Africa has received international praise regarding its awareness efforts for the disease, the World Health Organization has said that the country's "slow progress" in providing antiretroviral treatment to the estimated 500,000 people in South Africa living with HIV is one of the "main reasons [the organization] will likely miss its target of putting 3 million people worldwide on AIDS therapy by the end of this year," according to the AP/Washington Post (Zavis, AP/Washington Post, 10/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.