Global Media AIDS Initiative Announces New Public HIV/AIDS Education Initiatives at XV International AIDS Conference
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/News24.com, 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).
The Kaiser Family Foundation on Tuesday announced several new programs as part of the initiative:
- The Russian Media Partnership to Combat HIV/AIDS on Tuesday announced that donors had committed $26 million for the first year of a three-year collaborative initiative coordinated by Gazprom-Media, Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS, UNAIDS, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Viacom. The money will be used to develop public service announcements, train journalists, distribute informational resources and hold special events. RMP issued a challenge to Russian and international partners to increase funding to $200 million over three years.
- The Gere Foundation India Trust in partnership with Avahan-India AIDS Initiative, Gates Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation and STAR India announced the launch of the Heroes Project, a three-year campaign to combat HIV/AIDS in India. STAR India/STAR Care, a division of the STAR Group Limited has made a commitment worth $14 million over three years for public service messages, entertainment programming and news coverage on radio and television. The first television message, featuring Indian cricket star Rahul Dravid, is scheduled to debut this month.
China Central Television and MTV China are working together to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in China with a PSA that will air nationwide on local cable and satellite television. The campaign is conducted as part of "Staying Alive," a global youth public education campaign conducted by MTV Networks International with UNAIDS, Family Health International, Kaiser Family Foundation, World Bank and others. MTV also plans to launch a Mandarin language version of its staying alive Web site, staying-alive.org.
- MTV International and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will host a summit on HIV/AIDS for senior creative executives from international broadcast companies on Nov. 23 to develop ideas for HIV-focused programming. The summit will coincide with the 32nd International Emmy Awards in New York City (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 7/13).
A kaisernetwork.org webcast of the session is available online. This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.