Media giant Viacom, along with the Kaiser Family Foundation and the United Kingdom's National AIDS Trust, announced this week that Viacom's successful $120 million HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, which was launched in the United States in January. is being expanded to the United Kingdom and other European countries. The U.S. campaign, called "Know HIV," has included HIV awareness and prevention messages on billboards and in radio announcements, television public-service spots, and the content of such Viacom-owned television programs as Frasier, Becker, The Parkers, and Enterprise.
The United Kingdom campaign, which will be called "Staying Alive," will include advertisements on buses and the London Underground subway system, public service announcements on television and in movie theaters, and brochures available at more than 700 Blockbuster video stores. Health officials in the U.K. welcomed the Viacom-backed campaign, saying renewed efforts are needed to reduce rising HIV infections rates in many at-risk groups. "The U.K., like many countries around the world, is experiencing rising rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections," said Derek Bodell, director of the National AIDS Trust. "We have no excuse for this when we know how to prevent their transmission."