UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Launches Global Media AIDS Initiative
NEW YORK, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the ongoing mobilisation of civil society in the fight against HIV/AIDS, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today met with leaders of some of the world's leading media organizations to launch a Global Media AIDS Initiative. The Initiative aims to activate media organizations to reach the world's people -- especially youth -- with information about how to prevent and treat HIV and to help combat AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.
Today's launch of the Global Media AIDS Initiative drew Presidents, CEOs and senior executives of over 20 media organizations from around the world. Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, whose organizations developed the Initiative, led sessions on the state of the global AIDS epidemic and the role that the media can play in combating the disease. Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, facilitated a dialogue among participants. The meeting also received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Media represents an often overlooked and underutilized resource in the fight against the global AIDS epidemic. UNAIDS estimates that two-thirds of the 45 million new HIV infections projected to occur worldwide over the next decade could be stemmed with greater access to effective prevention and public education efforts.
"When you are working to combat a disastrous and growing emergency, you should use every tool at your disposal," said Secretary-General Annan. "HIV/AIDS is the worst epidemic humanity has ever faced. It has spread further, faster and with more catastrophic long-term effects than any other disease. Its impact has become a devastating obstacle to development. Broadcast media have tremendous reach and influence, particularly with young people, who represent the future and who are the key to any successful fight against HIV/AIDS. We must seek to engage these powerful organizations as full partners in the fight to halt HIV/AIDS through awareness, prevention, and education."
Current levels of knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS vary widely around the world but, even in some of the regions worst affected by the epidemic, a very large percentage of people have never heard of the disease. Recent studies have shown that in 21 African countries more than 60 per cent of girls were found to have at least one major misconception about the virus or were unaware of its existence. Widespread lack of knowledge is also evident in Latin America and the Caribbean. In a survey conducted in Bolivia, for example, 74 per cent of young women either did not know AIDS existed or harboured serious misconceptions about it. Surveys in 40 countries worldwide indicate that more than 50 per cent of young people aged 15 to 24 do not know how HIV is transmitted. In addition, stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV continue to be among the greatest barriers to preventing the spread of new infections and to providing adequate care and support.
Today, the Secretary General has asked that major media companies commit to using their resources to expand public knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS. Specific efforts that media companies are encouraged to undertake include:
-- Designating the fight against AIDS as an overall corporate priority;
-- Committing substantial time and/or space to the issue, including
programming/editorial and advertising;
-- Providing current news coverage of the epidemic, both globally and
-- Supporting efforts to train reporters and producers to cover the
-- Supporting the development and broadcast of AIDS-related shows, films
-- Making content addressing HIV/AIDS available rights-free to other media
-- Providing comprehensive workforce education efforts about HIV.
Mr. Annan noted that a number of the media organizations represented at the meeting have already contributed significantly to promoting public debate on AIDS and to promoting safer behaviours. They have found innovative and creative ways to reach audiences and provide them with crucial awareness and knowledge about HIV -- from soap operas to situation comedies, from concerts to documentaries, from children's programming to hard news. Several have already broadcast "AIDS seasons," featuring special programming on HIV/AIDS-related issues.
Other media organizations announced new commitments to develop AIDS programming and outreach through partnerships with other interested organizations, the United Nations, and non-governmental and community organizations. These partnerships will help multiply the weight and reach of the AIDS education message and ensure that information is disseminated as widely as possible. The Secretary-General urged the organizations to continue and accelerate these initiatives.
"The commitments made by the media organizations today are one of the most important collective contributions to the fight against AIDS to date," said Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director, an organizer of today's meeting. "By harnessing the media's unparalleled ability to communicate with billions of people around the world, we can now provide more people than ever with vital life-saving information on AIDS."
"For more than a decade, the Kaiser Family Foundation has worked with media companies in the US and globally to include HIV/AIDS public education messages into their programming that will resonate especially with young people and those who are most at risk. The new Global AIDS Media Initiative signals a new and expanded commitment by media leaders that will reach millions of more people with public health information," said Drew E. Altman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Family Foundation.
In a number of countries, decades of development are being reversed by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Some 40 million people are living with HIV or AIDS worldwide, with 5 million newly infected during 2003 alone. Last year, 3 million people died of AIDS, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the epidemic to more than 20 million.
SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
CO: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; UNAIDS; UN Department of Public Information
01/15/2004 11:30 EST
Re ADVR- What I belive is the following about the company.
ADVR will follow the course ImmunoGen took in out licensing its lead product for as many different indications to as many different Pharma and Biotechs as are interested.
I do not see ADVR taking a drug all the way through trials
at this point but rather finding a niche with 118
and developing a platform using this drug.
I think what I read today more than confirms the direction they are taking.
This is still early stage BUT the interview confirms
that what was done in Isreal was done with the US FDA
in mind and though ambitious it appears Dr Wilner is
thinking in terms of a fast track status down the road.
Its NOT insignificent that he mentions the 10x dosing
and reports [though un audited and not final ] efficacy
in that patients feel better and the toxicity was nil
I see a message here people--you dont have to, but I do and will be acting on it as well as talking to others personally about ADVR.
I would not be surprised if within a year we have 2 new partners and others interested.
My guess is that a partnership is in the works
that would allow trials to begin here in the US.
I am not at all concerned over the next year with ADVR
I expect the Isreal trials to provide positive data
and I expect a partnership.
These were not only good faith comments today
They were in my opinon Bullish about the future of ADVR
and came from the right persons.
Yes it could all blow up-but that is not what is happening now.
This is how I feel and I see it and what I will act upon.
I didn't need for this interview to be in the New England Journal today or in Time magazine. I only needed to read in hard copy what ADVR is up to and what they are thinking and reacting to these days-It still takes time -nothing is worse than biotechnology for long periods of no news
and horrific bouts of un certainty to wear investors down.
Hope those who feel they may see something here can hang in
I dont think there is a thing wrong with trading
I do think we should give this company support and a lot of credit.
Realize this now before they sign deals
cause it looks to me that there will be major and positive changes coming--No Guarantee-Think and do what you want
cecilk-Thanks, One thing I cannot accurately guess on is when we will
see a deal.
In my mind Im convinced now that the capital we are looking for most likley will come from a name Drug or Large Biotech.
These deals take a very very long time to close.
When you get one and your an investor in the smaller company
and you strat reading the PRs--well let me tell skin conditions, corns, headaches, nausea all that stuff just goes away-If your 80 or 18 you get excited and you start thinkin bout being the first one on mars. believe me its
euphoria--that is when the market grants you an audience
Given that aids is what it is and that this drug is not really something that was dicovered yesterday
It could get very interesting. Lots of talk can be generated about ProdR and its history and how long it has
I think its a given that any novel discovery or treatment for aids that can be supported with at least a P1 study
could catch a lot of attention and interest especially if a name Bio or Drug company gets in there and licenses the technology in.