by Jewel Stephen
As we mark the World AIDS Day with the theme “Getting to Zero” and a focus on achieving zero infection, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related death, The Coca-Cola Company and (RED) invite all Nigerians to join efforts to help end mother-to-child transmission of HIV through a global campaign tagged ‘Share the sound of an AIDS free generation’.
Award winning hip-hop artiste, Wyclef Jean, recorded a song titled Divine Sorrow for the (RED) campaign together with various Coke Studio Africa artistes, including Chidinma from Nigeria. Proceeds from the song, which is available for download as ringtone on the MTN network, will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and also to finance grants which provide HIV prevention, testing, counseling, treatment and care.
The campaign shares a message of hope and unity to empower today’s youth to understand that they can be the generation to end the AIDS pandemic. According to UNAID, 650 babies are born with HIV every day, yet life-saving medication exists and costs as little as $.40 a day. That same medication can reduce the risk of an HIV-positive woman passing on the virus to her baby by 95%. In 2013, for the first time since the discovery of the virus, more people were newly added to treatment than were newly infected with HIV, a critical milestone marking the beginning of the end of AIDS.
“We want to use the instrument of music and its strong connection with the youth to reinforce the message that it is in the hands of this generation to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS,” said Patricia Jemibewon, Marketing Director at Coca-Cola Nigeria. Citing the success of the Coke Studio Concerts which have taken several university campuses by storm in recent weeks, she said “The experience has reinforced Coca-Cola’s belief that Nigerian youth can be rallied for a good cause with good music.”
The Coca-Cola Company is a frontline player in the global fight to end HIV/AIDS. Since 2006, The Coca-Cola Company and its foundation have committed over $15 million in the fight to end AIDS through awareness, education and prevention. In 2011, The Coca-Cola Company initially pledged $5 million to the Global Fund through the partnership with (RED) and recently raised its commitment by an additional $2 million directly to the fund. This year, Coca-Cola will leverage the size and scale of the system to rally for the cause ultimately activating this campaign in over 40 countries worldwide.
Coca-Cola and (RED) have partnered with MTN Nigeria, the largest mobile telecommunications operator in Nigeria to make the song available to all Nigerians. To download cut downs of the song as your Caller Ring Back Tune (CRBT), text 10 to 4100 (at a cost of N50 per subscription/month) from their MTN lines; part of the proceeds from downloads will be donated to RED.
To watch the video of Divine Sorrow, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rquWgCAhY8Q