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Global Media AIDS Initiative Announces New Public HIV/AIDS Education Initiatives at XV International AIDS Conference

July 14, 2004

Actor and AIDS advocate Richard Gere and MTV President Bill Roedy on Tuesday at a Global Media AIDS Initiative press conference at the XV International AIDS Conference announced several public HIV/AIDS education campaigns primarily targeting youth in the United States, Russia and China, USA Today reports (Sternberg, USA Today, 7/13). MTV is a partner in the Global Media AIDS Initiative, an alliance between the United Nations and the media that was generated through a partnership between UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation, with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 7/13). As a part of the initiative, Gere announced agreements with two of India's largest entertainment networks and a 24-hour news station to develop AIDS public services announcements (USA Today, 7/13). Speaking at the briefing, Gere and Roedy criticized the Bush administration's focus on abstinence in AIDS education, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Roedy said that although MTV has been "criticized quite a bit" for its commercials and programs encouraging condom use, the company will "continue to take those risks" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 7/13). Gere said that the United States will "hopefully have another administration in about four months ... and along with that some sanity on the subject." He added that AIDS "to this planet, to this time and place" is the "most important issue" (AFP/, 7/13). Under the initiative, 22 media companies have pledged to use their influence to educate people worldwide about HIV/AIDS. Most companies pledged to use PSAs, expanded news coverage and documentaries to education the public. Many participants agreed to weave AIDS-related stories into entertainment programs, recruit other media outlets to join the campaign and provide their campaign materials free-of-charge to other broadcast outlets (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/16).

New Campaigns
The Kaiser Family Foundation on Tuesday announced several new programs as part of the initiative:

A webcast of the session is available online.

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