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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 10:08 GMT
African artists launch Aids album
Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour is one of 37 artists on the new album
Thirty-seven of Africa's best known musicians have released an album to raise awareness about HIV.

The UN-sponsored album has been freely distributed to radio and television stations throughout Africa.

It is "the starting point of a real battle against Aids and not just words in the air," Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi said, AFP news agency reports.

The artists include Senegal's Youssou N'Dour, Algeria's Cheb Mami and Cameroon's Manu Dibango.

According to the Pan-African News Agency, the album, which has songs in more than 10 languages, is also to address issues such as poverty, gender inequality, illiteracy and conflict.

The song We are the Drums calls on people to get involved in efforts to ensure an Aids-free generation by 2015, it says.

"People no longer have trust in the leadership, they trust men on the street and as we are from the streets, they listen to us," Awadi said.

The latest UN figures show that 22.5m people in sub-Saharan Africa are living with HIV.

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