LONDON (Reuters) - MTV marks the 10th anniversary of its AIDS awareness campaign this year with an hour-long documentary by U.S. singer and Destiny’s Child founding member Kelly Rowland.
The music channel launched “MTV Staying Alive” in 1998, and has produced films, competitions and celebrity tie-ins to educate young people about the risks of HIV and AIDS and encourage them to talk about it.
The latest initiative is a video diary featuring Rowland, who along with Beyonce Knowles helped launch the successful girl band Destiny’s Child in 1990. The group split in 2005.
In “The Diary of Kelly Rowland,” the 27-year-old travels to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and the United States and meets young people affected by HIV/AIDS and those trying to educate people about the risks.
“It places HIV/AIDS out in the open, and in doing so creates an openness of dialogue on the ‘taboo’ subject,” MTV said in a statement.
The video can be watched at www.staying-alive.org from Monday, which is World AIDS Day.
MTV also announced that Travis McCoy, lead singer of hip-hop band Gym Class Heroes, will be the Staying Alive Foundation’s ambassador in 2009.
Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Justin Timberlake and Sean “Diddy” Combs have also lent their names to the campaign over the last decade.
According to the channel, 33 million people are infected with HIV globally. Nearly 7,500 people were infected every day last year and, despite increased access to treatment, the daily death rate from HIV/AIDS is 6,000 people. Some 45 percent of new infections are among people aged between 15 and 24.
Writing by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato