The media, secular and religious worlds are joining forces for the 25th anniversary of HIV and the annual World AIDS Day on Friday.
Stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS is not the only focus of the upcoming observance of a pandemic that has yet to slow down. This year's World AIDS Day is shouting for an end to HIV ignorance and prejudice which are fueling the spread of the disease.
Spreading HIV and AIDS awareness to audiences worldwide – especially the younger generation – seven of the world's leading advertising agencies will launch commercials Friday for the Turn on TV campaign that speaks of abstinence, fidelity and condom use.
MTV channels worldwide will show a set of 24 ads that were produced through creative teams at the agencies. One commercial by Y&R North America tells audiences not to judge when it comes to sex but to remind couples of safe sex instead.
The commercials are part of the Global Media AIDS Initiative – a project launched in January 2004 by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. So far, more than 150 media companies from 76 countries have become involved with the initiative.
Meanwhile, Christian college students have partnered with World Vision, one of the leading international relief organizations, to act on AIDS and bring attention to the nearly 40 million currently infected with HIV.
Member institutions of Council for Christian Colleges and Universities are participating in a "Lives are at Stake" campaign where students will plant stakes with pictures of orphans and vulnerable children attached on the grounds of their campuses. Students and faculty are encouraged to pull out a stake and wear it around their necks to pray for the children and the fight against AIDS.
"There is a lot of stigma surrounding AIDS; it’s been a sensitive subject, and for the most part, generations before us within the Church decided not to pay attention to it," said Lisa Krohn, one of three Seattle Pacific University alumni who heads Acting on AIDS, in a released statement. "My generation is becoming more conscious of social justice issues. And this is the biggest social justice issue humanity has ever faced."
More than 70 campuses have joined the national campaign this year, including around 35 Christian universities and colleges.