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24 September 2014
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BBC World Service marks its HIV/Aids Season with a special concert of music, poetry and drama

A star-studded line-up of musicians and writers join the internationally renowned actor Sir Ian McKellen for the BBC World Service HIV/Aids Concert broadcast to a global radio audience this Saturday, 22 November.

The concert, hosted by Sir Ian McKellen, is from the Mermaid Theatre in London.

It features:  Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits from Zimbabwe, the charismatic Malian singer Rokia Traoré, the poet and author Veronique Tadjo from South Africa, UK hit singer-songwriter Daniel Bedingfield, the Russian violinist Vadim Repin, accompanied on piano by Itamar Golan, the British poet Lemn Sissay, the virtuoso Chinese musician Liu Fang and actors Debora Weston and Clive Wedderburn performing an excerpt from Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart.

Sir Ian McKellen is joined on stage by the African broadcaster Ofeibea Quist-Arcton who interviews the artists and uncovers some revealing insights into their personal views of HIV/Aids.
Rokia Traoré believes parents should talk to their children more openly about sex and sexually transmitted diseases.

She says she talks to teenagers regularly about HIV/Aids and is told by many that girls who carry protection are often stigmatised as bad girls with many boyfriends.

"I tell them it is better being a bad girl who is changing boyfriends than have Aids," she says.

Oliver Mtukudzi, who opens and closes the BBC World Service HIV/Aids Concert, says his brother and several band members have died as a result of Aids.

"As an artist I feel we have a responsibility, we are a mouthpiece for the nation," he says.

"If we are to stop the spread of this disease, if we are to conquer this disease, it has to start with us men because we are the head of the family."

Daniel Bedingfield talks about a school teacher of his and a family friend who died from an Aids-related illness when he was 15 years old. It had a profound affect.

"I'm a serial monogamist and I've never had a one night stand and I'm determined not to," he says.

"I'm thrust into a lifestyle, into an industry, where that is probably mostly the only lifestyle there is.

"I'm determined to have a long-term relationship and I feel that will protect me, and the people that I have relationships with in the long term, from HIV.

"Many of my friends are prepared to take that risk but I am not. I like the idea of finding an amazing woman and having a fantastic life with lots of kids."

Vadim Repin praises the BBC World Service for including classical music in the concert.

"This virus and this sickness does not have borders and we are all here from different genres," he says. "Different kinds of arts are here to point attention."

Eddie Vulani Maluleke is just 21-years-old yet has attended countless funerals.

She says even though HIV and Aids awareness campaigns are prominent in South Africa, people are still ashamed to admit that loved ones have died of the virus.

"When we go to funerals, we don't say it was HIV, we say that it was something else like TB or pneumonia," she says.

"So, even though we know that there is HIV in the country, we're not really dealing with the problem."

She also expresses frustration that people are dying unnecessarily.

"People aren't dying how we used to die, naturally in our time. Now we are being killed by something that we really have the power in our hands to stop," she says.

The BBC World Service HIV/Aids Concert is part of a season of special programming broadcast in 43 languages around the world on radio and online in the run up to World Aids Day on Monday 1 December.

Personal testimonies, interactive debates, picture diaries, audio and vital facts and figures on HIV/ Aids can be found on a special website:
The BBC World Service HIV/Aids Concert is broadcast across the BBC's eight English language streams and on its 42 language services.

For the language schedules visit and click on the appropriate language schedules.

The International Broadcast Times are expected to be:

Australia and NZ: | Sat 08.06 – 09.59
East Asia: | Sat 08.06 – 09.59
South Asia: | Sat 13.06 – 14.59
E and S Africa: | Sat 18.06 – 19.59
West Africa: | Sat 18.06 – 19.59
Middle East: | Sat 13.06 – 14.59
Europe: | Sat 08.06 – 09.59
Americas: | Sun 00.06 – 01.59

All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.



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