South Africa: AIDS Torch Celebrates Mandela's 87th Birthday
July 18, 2005
Today, South Africa celebrated former President Nelson Mandela's 87th birthday by lighting a special torch in his apartheid-era prison cell as part of a new nationwide drive to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. Lit just after midnight on Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated for nearly two decades, the torch returned to Cape Town in a blaze of fireworks and is now touring the country as part of Mandela's "46664" HIV/AIDS campaign, named after his former prison number. "The former apartheid government thought they could reduce prisoners to numbers and that the world would forget about them. It didn't happen," the Mandela Foundation said in a statement. "If we care for those infected and affected with the disease, it could prevent people from becoming part of statistics and reduced to numbers."
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.