Some of the biggest names in Mexico’s music industry are lending their names and talents to educate people on the prevention, detection and treatment of HIV. The latest advocacy effort is part of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Mexico’s “Keep the Promise – Music Ambassadors” campaign which will culminate with a concert on Nov. 30 in Mexico City. It is expected to attract over 50,000 people.
“As a musician and as someone who has experienced discrimination, I am very grateful for the opportunity to join this essential movement,” said pop-rock group Torreblanca frontman Juan Manuel Torreblanca. “We need to fight against discrimination and understand that embarrassment hinders the work of fighting HIV. We need to keep the promise of being informed and caring for those we love—and for ourselves.”
To bring HIV/AIDS awareness and fight stigma, AHF Mexico has recruited 55 musical artists to-date, with more expected to join the campaign. Performers are stepping up their commitments by agreeing to receive training from AHF staff on HIV prevention and create short, peer-to-peer style videos to address their fans about the epidemic via social media.
The number of new HIV cases in Mexico increased by 12% in 2016. That figure does not include those who are unaware of their status – an estimated 7 out of 10 people. Stigma and discrimination make this situation worse.
AHF and the musicians hope the videos will generate engagement and dialogue with the many fans that will see them. Media members across the country are also coming on board to spread the word.
“As journalists and communicators, we have a great responsibility,” said writer Mildred Perez de la Torre. “It’s our duty to inform the population about HIV, especially when we address issues as important as prevention.”
AHF has been operating in Mexico since 2007 and is currently providing treatment for 28,098 clients.