Stop New AIDS Infections to Break the Cycle: Mandela
December 3, 2007
Slowing new HIV infections is the key to fighting AIDS, Nelson Mandela told tens of thousands of attendees at his 46664 benefit concert in Johannesburg Saturday on World AIDS Day.
The Ellis Park stadium erupted in adulation before falling silent as the Nobel laureate, ex-political prisoner, and former South African president spoke.
"It is still alarming that for every person who receives treatment there are four others who are newly infected," said Mandela. An assembly of international and local artists stood behind Mandela, with their hands raised in support of the 46664 "It's in our hands" campaign.
Mandela asked the millions of viewers watching in South Africa and worldwide to make a personal commitment to stopping the spread of the HIV. "Yes, big ambitious plans are needed to deal with the epidemic." Mandela said. "But what really matters are small acts of kindness ... such as protecting yourself."
The concert is the fifth of its kind, launched under the campaign "46664" -- named after Mandela's apartheid-era prison number. Stars including Live, Johnny Clegg, and Annie Lennox have performed to support his campaign.
Mandela said 46664 will be "stepping up its campaign" with a huge concert planned for Hyde Park in London next year on June 27, which will coincide with his 90th birthday.
Agence France Presse
12.01.2007; Fran Blandy
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.