Nelson Mandela sends out an SOS to Fight the HIV/AIDS Crisis

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Nelson Mandela sends out an SOS to Fight the HIV/AIDS Crisis

CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (December 6, 2002) PR Newswire

At a launch event today at the National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, Nelson Mandela – joined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and event creator David Clark – announced that he is to host his very first concert.

This extraordinary event, featuring top artists from the world of pop and rock, will take place on 2nd February, 2003 on Robben Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned 30 years ago. “HIV/AIDS is not only a health issue but has risen to become a human rights crisis,” said Nelson Mandela. “I am asking each person in every country not to be silent witnesses to this devastation but to answer our SOS by raising both awareness and the vital funds necessary to fight and win against this disease.”

Africa has been hit harder by HIV/AIDS than any other region of the world. More than 17 million have died from the disease and another 28.1 million are infected with HIV. Currently there are 11 million AIDS orphans in Africa and without urgent action there may be more than 25 million by the end of this decade. The ‘Mandela SOS’ concert, presented by EPOP Productions (Education Powers Our Planet) aims to raise funds and awareness for the worldwide AIDS pandemic and is to be staged within the walls of the notorious maximum security prison on Robben Island.

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Note:  The 2003 February concert was rescheduled to November 2003.