HIV/AIDS Prevention: Chinese Media Giant, UNAIDS Commit To End Pandemic
StarTimes digital TV operator is to air awareness messages to 18 million viewers in Africa.
As part of worldwide efforts to end the AIDS pandemic by 2030 as agreed in 2016 by the UN General Assembly, a leading Chinese digital television distributor, StarTimes Group, and UNAIDS, on May 12, 2017, in the Chinese capital, Beijing, signed a partnership deal. The Memorandum of Understanding was endorsed by StarTimes President, Pang Xinxing, and UNAIDS Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, Michel Sidibé.
According to Sidibé, the goal is to reach 18 million HIV-positive people in Africa who are not yet on antiretroviral treatment and help achieve the triple goal of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero deaths from AIDS by 2030. He said 10 years ago, there were only 10,000 people in Africa on treatment because of limited access, but the figure today stands at over 12 million. “A few years back, being diagnosed with HIV was likened to death sentence. Today, those found positive are immediately placed on treatment, thereby enabling them to enjoy normal life spans. But those who delay treatment live only for about 9 years,” Sidibé explained.
Pang Xinxing felicitated UNAIDS for helping to reduce HIV infections in the world, but noted that many people are still unaware of HIV prevention and AIDS treatment information. “My company’s social responsibility is to ensure the broadcast of UNAIDS’ HIV prevention video jingles to millions of viewers in Africa for free for two years. Our goal is to ensure that every African household has access to digital TV. StarTimes will extend its services to 10,000 African villages by providing free digital TV broadcast, TV sets and solar panels where there is no electricity,” Xinxing announced. Its Projector TV that uses solar energy will also be handy.
Xinxing explained that the plan was in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pledge in November 2015 in South Africa to assist the continent tackle its development challenges. The choice of villages for free digital TV broadcasting will soon be agreed with African nations, Xinxing assured. StarTimes is operational in 32 African countries with an audience of nearly 10 million. It offers 480 channels made up of news, movies, soup operas, sports, entertainment, children's programmes, fashion, religion, etc.