Message in a Bottle: Mandela Takes AIDS Awareness to Street Corners of South Africa
November 21, 2007
In a campaign timed to raise AIDS awareness ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, a million messages enclosed in glass Coca-Cola bottles will be placed on street corners and in shopping malls, cinemas, and parks throughout Johannesburg, the city's Star newspaper reported.
The message from Nelson Mandela, former South African president and anti-apartheid activist, reads: "Today, especially in Africa, AIDS is claiming as many lives as all the wars, famines and floods that have ravaged the continent. It is devastating families and communities, overwhelming and depleting health care services, and robbing schools of both students and teachers. This is not a disease anymore, it's a human rights issue." Mandela's note ends with an appeal for donations to his foundation's 46664 AIDS charity.
South Africa has the world's largest HIV burden, with an estimated 5.4 million people living with the disease.