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    Shedding light on AIDS epidemic

    BANGALORE: The world enters the third year of the AIDS epidemic and to bring the level of AIDS to zero an initiative called ‘Getting to Zero, is launched wherebyToumani Diabate, international goodwill ambassador , UNAIDS, will perform in the city with grammy award winner and padmashri awardee Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt and Sahil Bhatt. UNAIDS aims to provide care and support to those already living with the virus. This will reduce the vulnerability of individuals and communities exposed to HIV and alleviate the impact of the epidemic. To spread the message in a unique and colorful manner, UNAIDS has its international Goodwill ambassadors spreading the message about AIDS and HIV across the globe through various events such as musical festivals, conferences etc. ‘Getting to zero’ aims at zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Toumani Diabate, UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador, uses music as a tool to reach out to people with important messages on HIV prevention. He also educates his audiences about stigma and discrimination. He received the 53 Grammy award for best traditional world music album for his joint album with Ali Farka Toure’s entitled “Ali and Toumani.” He descends from a long line of oral historians and singers. He has blended ancient west african music tradition with other modern and traditional music from across the world and been instrumental in introducing the kora, a 21-string harp lute, to audiences around the world and in developing it into a solo concert instrument.India has a huge population of over one billion, around half of whom are adults in the sexually active age group. The spread of HIV in India has been uneven. HIV epidemics are more severe in the southern part of the country compared to the north-east. The highest HIV prevalence is found in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu Karnataka, Manipur and Nagaland in the north-east.