At a glance: Philippines

Philippines launches UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS

UNICEF Image
© MTV Philippines
UNICEF Philippines Representative Dr. Nicholas Alipui (center) and MTV VJs K.C. Montero (left) and Cindy Curleto (right) officially launched the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in the Philippines at the 2005 MTV Staying Alive Music Summit for HIV/AIDS.

By Dale Rutstein

MAKATI CITY, Philippines, 15 December 2005 – UNICEF Representative Nicholas K. Alipui formally declared the launch of the UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in the Philippines during the 2005 MTV Staying Alive Music Summit for HIV/AIDS.

An enthusiastic throng of 85,000 people streamed into the Bonifacio Global City Open Field on 1 December – World AIDS Day – to attend the event. The eight-hour concert, which featured more than 200 artists and 30 bands, was the third in a series of AIDS awareness concerts organized by Music Television (MTV) in cooperation with the United Nations agencies UNICEF, UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund, and the World Health Organization, along with numerous NGOs, government agencies and corporate sponsors.

Australian-Filipino singer MiG Ayesa, who became famous as a runner-up on the Rock Star INXS reality television show, led the long list of performers, including popular local rock and pop acts.

“I’m sick and tired of seeing people die in the name of love – it’s time we all lived in its name!” MiG said during the concert. He added, “AIDS is not a disease for sinners. It has affected countless of innocent children all over the world.”

The performances were interspersed with crucial information about the nature, transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS – through videos and slides, or words from VJs, international celebrities, NBA stars and premier Filipino performers.

In a brief speech Dr. Alipui said, “For this campaign, the Philippines has been named a ‘Champion Country’ because you have the chance to avoid the mistakes that many countries have made in fighting HIV/AIDS. As young people, you have the power to make a difference in your own lives and that of others affected by HIV/AIDS.”

UNICEF Image
© MTV Philippines
85,000 people attended the launch of the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in the Philippines at an 8-hour rock concert with more than 200 hundred artists performing.

HIV/AIDS is the worst public health epidemic in history. In Africa and elsewhere in the world, AIDS has wreaked havoc on the lives of individuals, families and children.

“When I look at the Philippines, I get really frightened because I see how easily the same can happen here,” Dr. Alipui said.

HIV/AIDS transmission in the Philippines is “hidden and growing.” However, health officials believe a significant increase in the spread of the HIV virus is only a matter of time.

Alipui challenged the young people to participate in this campaign.

“We have to break the deafening silence surrounding HIV/AIDS. Are you ready to do your part? Can I count on you to do your part?” he asked the audience.

MTV Staying Alive Music Summit is staged each year to deliver clear, factual messages about HIV prevention and transmission to hundreds of thousands of young people aged 15 to 24, who make up the largest population vulnerable to HIV infection.

Along with other UN agencies, UNICEF Philippines has played a leading role in providing technical and financial support for the staging of the ambitious event. In addition, major private sector, NGO and government partners supported the event to bring about a broad and varied partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in the Philippines.

UNICEF Image
© MTV Philippines
MiG Ayesa, runner up in the Rock Star INXS reality TV show, headlined the MTV Staying Alive Music Summit for HIV/AIDS which launched the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in the Philippines.

Surveys indicate the marathon rock concert format may be having an impact. UNICEF sponsored a survey of HIV/AIDS awareness among 1,500 young people in the audience. Results of the survey are still being tabulated and will be used to measure how well the concert messages are remembered.

A similar survey was conducted among 1,000 concert-goers at the 2004 Music Summit in Manila and found that audience members learned and retained critical information about AIDS several months after the marathon concert for a cause.

The gates to the venue were open as early as 1:00 p.m., allowing the public to check out the various booths of sponsors – UNICEF, UNAIDS and UN agencies as well as other non-government organizations – to find out more about HIV/AIDS.

Among the performers at the Summit were pop icons Kitchie Nadal, Barbie Almalbis, Sarah Geronimo, Christian Bautista, Yasmien Kurdi, The Viva Hot Babes, and well known bands such as Parokya ni Edgar, Rivermaya, Bamboo, MYMP, Hale, and Cueshe.


 

 

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