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Last Updated: Friday, 6 June, 2003, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Santana joins SA Aids fight
US Rock Guitarist Carlos Santana
Santana's unique Latin rock sound has won him many fans

Award winning rock guitarist Carlos Santana says he will donate the proceeds from his 2003 US tour, which begins on 13 June to fight HIV/Aids in South Africa.

He said he hoped to raise about $3m to go to the Artists for a New South Africa's Amandla Aids Fund (Ansa) to help fight the disease in Africa.

" If we don't fight HIV, it might decimate our people"
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"You have to begin somewhere," he told journalists at a news conference in California on Thursday, alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The charity will use the cash to buy medicines for those suffering from HIV or Aids, to care for Aids orphans and to prevent new infections through education.

Archbishop Tutu who flew to Los Angeles to give his blessing to Santana's crusade, praised the musician's generosity and challenged the entertainment industry to follow suit.

Spreading spiritual virus

"You helped us overcome apartheid. But now we have another scourge.

"It is a disease, HIV/Aids, which in fact may succeed where apartheid failed. If we don't fight HIV, it might decimate our people," he said.

Santana called on all artists to "join us in spreading a spiritual virus, a masterpiece of joy on this planet".

One in nine South Africans are estimated to be HIV-positive.

According to Ansa, there are about 600 deaths in South Africa each day from Aids-related illnesses.

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