Nelson Mandela has launched the 46664 campaign to raise funds for HIV/AIDS treatment in South Africa and to raise awareness of the disease. The first event of the campaign, which has the same number as Mr Mandela's prison number, will be a charity concert featuring several famous musicians.
Elizabeth Blunt reports:
AIDS, tragically, is a young people's disease. Each year half of those newly infected are under the age of twenty-five. The so-called 46664 campaign is targeting young people, using music, the internet, mobile phones, and the one international figure who's a hero to all ages, including the young. Nelson Mandela is fronting the campaign and the funds it raises will be used for the AIDS work of his Nelson Mandela Foundation.
"I was imprisoned on Robben Island, known as just a number. Millions of people today, infected with AIDS, are just that - a number. They too are serving a prison sentence - for life." (Nelson Mandela)
His old prison number will be used for a website, and calling it by mobile phone will let people all over the world donate money, put their names to a petition urging governments to do more to fight AIDS, and let them listen to songs and greetings from their favourite stars.
The campaign proper will kick off with a huge concert in Cape Town at the end of next month. The organisers say Youssou Ndour, Angelique Kidjo, Ladysmith Black Mambaza, Bono, Beyonce and Queen will all be among the performers, and the event will be broadcast round the world to reach - they hope - two billion young people.
BBC, Elizabeth Blunt
nuevos infectados con el virus de inmunodeficiencia humana, VIH, que causa el SIDA
apunta, se dirige a
figura, personaje internacional
a prison sentence
sentencia, pena de cárcel
kick off with