Vice President of Zambia, Honorable Rupiah Banda, and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Michael Koplovsky, recently kicked off an HIV/AIDS benefit concert at Maramba Stadium, featuring a line-up of dynamic artists and music fused with HIV/AIDS-related messages. Concert-goers were encouraged to learn their HIV status by taking advantage of voluntary HIV counseling and testing services.
The concert, supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Emergency Plan/ PEPFAR), was a novel initiative in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Livingstone, a world-famous tourist attraction with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in Zambia. The concert was the second in a series of high-profile events organized through the Tourism HIV/AIDS Public-Private Partnership. A concert at the Sun Hotels International in June 2007 drew over 3,000 people. Concert-goers at both events had access to mobile counseling and testing services, HIV information booths, and educational materials.
In the weeks leading up to the Maramba concert, talent shows were conducted to identify and promote local musicians. Winners from throughout Zambia competed for slots in an international competition on the morning of the concert, which featured well-known artists Amayenge, Rare Roses, Winston, Haamoba, and Matthew Ngosa. Organizers also conducted a series of events to raise community awareness about HIV/AIDS through radio, drama, and mobile video shows.
Additional information regarding the Zambia Tourism HIV/AIDS Public-Private Partnership is available online at: http://www.pepfar.gov/c23652.htm.
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