Press Releases

                                                                                                                            14 July 2004

    UN-Supported Global Media AIDS Initiative Announces New Efforts in Russia, India, China, Indonesia, United States

    BANGKOK, THAILAND, 13 July -- New HIV-focused public education efforts in the Russian Federation, India, China, Indonesia, and the United States were announced today by the United Nations-supported Global Media AIDS Initiative, a collective of media companies from around the globe who have committed resources to the fight against AIDS. New resources are also being developed to enable media companies to broadly share content and expertise based on successful ongoing public education campaigns. Additionally, expanded media efforts to address HIV/AIDS in Indonesia were also included among the round four funding announced by the Global Fund earlier this month.

    Established at a special meeting held at United Nations headquarters on January 15, 2004 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and directed in partnership by the Joint Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Department of Public Information, and the Kaiser Family Foundation with additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Media AIDS Initiative seeks to engage media companies to combat HIV/AIDS. More than 20 leading media executives from around the world have joined the Initiative and committed their companies to expanding public knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS.

    “We know the media can help bring AIDS out of the shadows and get people talking about it in an open and informed way. If we can harness that power through media groups joining forces under the Global Media AIDS Initiative, we can begin to roll back the AIDS crisis”, said United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    "The coming together of media organizations to harness their collective power to the fight against AIDS is one of the most important partnerships forged to date", said Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director. "The media has the unparalleled ability to save millions of lives by providing them with vital life saving information on AIDS and creating a supporting environment for social change."

    “Without dramatically scaled-up prevention efforts, HIV/AIDS will continue to spread, and millions of additional people will be infected. The media, which has been an underutilized force in the fight against the HIV/AIDS, can play a huge role in breaking the silence and mobilizing society to confront the epidemic”, said Drew Altman, PhD. President and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    The following are highlights of new multimedia public education campaigns and resources being made available under the Global Media AIDS Initiative:

    New Public Education Campaigns and Partnerships

    -- Russian Media Partnership to Combat HIV/AIDS (RMP) - A new multi-year initiative will launch in late October 2004, marking the first nationwide, coordinated, cross-market, cross-platform public awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS in Russia. The Partnership grew from a pledge made by Alexander Dybal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom-Media at the inaugural meeting of the Global Media AIDS Initiative at the United Nations in January to devote his company’s resources to fighting AIDS. Since then Prof-Media and Russia Online have joined this effort along with other Russian and international media companies. The new initiative will deliver public service messages and mainstream HIV/AIDS through a multi-platform PSA campaign; HIV/AIDS news, analytical and entertainment programming; specialized trainings for journalists, editors and producers; access to informational resources; and special events. Today, RMP announced that $26 million has already been committed in prime-time coverage for year one, and issued a challenge to Russian and international partners to increase this amount to $200 million for the three-year effort. Elements of the campaign will be shown on MTV Russia. The Partnership is coordinated by Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS in close collaboration with UNAIDS, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Viacom through its KNOW HIV/AIDS campaign.

    -- A Public Education Partnership to Combat AIDS in India - The Gere Foundation India Trust in partnership with Avahan-India AIDS Initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kaiser Family Foundation and STAR India launched 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 cross platform media placement of HIV/AIDS public service messages (TV and radio), TV and radio entertainment programming and news coverage. The first television message, featuring Indian cricket star, Rahul Dravid will debut this month. In addition, STAR will institute its own HIV/AIDS employee education curriculum.

    -- CCTV and MTV Partner to Address HIV/AIDS in China -- China Central Television (CCTV) and MTV China have partnered to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in China. A new PSA is to air nationwide on local cable and satellite systems. The campaign is conducted as part of Staying Alive, a global youth public education campaign conducted by MTV International with UNAIDS, Family Health International, Kaiser Family Foundation, World Bank and others.  MTV will also launch a Mandarin language version of its Staying Alive web site ( 

    -- New Campaign to Raise Awareness about Global Epidemic among United States Audiences -- The Global Fund and VH1 announced their multi-year partnership to raise awareness and take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is the first time that the Global Fund has ever partnered with a media company. The first of five public service announcements debut today in the United States.  This new campaign is being conducted as part of KNOW HIV/AIDS, a broader effort for VH1’s parent company Viacom and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    “Harnessing the media can help turn the tide of HIV infection by reaching and educating national populations in a way never before possible”, said Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “The Global Media AIDS Initiative is also breaking new ground by so effectively leveraging the commitment of corporations to add their unique assets to the fight against AIDS. I am proud that the Global Fund is funding the initiative in Indonesia and hope this sets a precedent for future grants.”

    Global Media AIDS Initiative Services to Expand Reach Media-Based Campaigns and Enhance Collaboration among Media Companies

    -- AIDS Media Centre -- The World Bank in collaboration with UNAIDS, Kaiser Family Foundation, PANOS and other partners will develop and manage the AIDS Media Centre as a -- journalist-only -- resource that compiles and presents timely information on global HIV/AIDS. The web-based portal will offer the following resources to media professionals: embargoed materials, contact information, background documents, multimedia materials (e.g. photos, audio, and video) and a member question board to facilitate dialogue among professionals working in the field.

    -- Best Practice Media Resource Centre and Database -- The BBC World Service Trust (BBC-WST), the development arm of the BBC, is conducting a needs assessment for a database of best practice materials that will be available for the use of media companies at no cost, and to provide support and training on the use of the materials. The BBC-WST conducted in-depth interviews with more than 40 broadcasters and 20 AIDS Commissioners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to define the requirements and needs of broadcasters for HIV/AIDS media materials. In addition to broadcasters, the database will be available to governments, NGOs and other organizations undertaking mass media initiatives against HIV/AIDS.

    -- Creative Summit -- MTV Networks International with the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will host a Summit on HIV/AIDS of senior creative executives from broadcast companies around the world to brainstorm ideas for new compelling HIV-focused programming and to share experiences from ongoing initiatives. The Summit will take place in New York on November 23rd to coincide with the 32nd International Emmy Awards the evening before to ensure that a wide range of the world’s leading creative talents will be able to attend. The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is the largest organization of global broadcasters, with members from 61 countries and over 250 companies.

    Among the ongoing public education campaigns around the globe associated with the Global Media AIDS Initiatives, the following media companies continue to show great leadership in their efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, including the BBC World Service Trust; South African Broadcasting (SABC); Univision Networks’ ¡Enterate!/ ¡Protegete! campaign with the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Viacom, both companywide and, at the division level, with both its overarching KNOW HIV/AIDS partnership with Kaiser and complementary targeted campaigns on BET, MTV, and VH1.

    For further information contact:  Abby Spring, UNAIDS, mobile: +41 79 308 9861 or +66 1 250 0874; Newton Kanhema, UN Department of Public Information, mobile in Bangkok (until 16 July): +66 1 258 0970 or +1 917 478 4627; or Rob Graham, Kaiser Family Foundation, mobile in Bangkok (until 16 July): +66 1 250 0065 or California: +1 650 854 9400 ext. 237.

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