Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Usher and Justin Timberlake have given up their digital lives to support a campaign for AIDS orphans in Africa and India.
They are among a group of popular stars who have died digital deaths to raise funds for Keep a Child Alive.
They will not Twitter or do Facebook updates until one million dollars is donated to the project – to buy back their lives.
Fans in the US and UK have so far contributed $182 828, which means they are more than a tenth of the way to this goal.
Visit their sites to read the last tweets and testaments.
Keep a Child Alive provides “treatment, love and support to families affected by HIV/AIDS”, particularly to the 15 million children without parents.
The Buy Life campaign exploits the popularity of social media in an innovative way.
Amid a myriad of World AIDS Day stories and reports this week, their concept stands out even to me, a digital dinosaur.
I have ambivalent feelings about World AIDS Day.
As an HIV reporter I’m glad space is set aside for stories.
But, this epidemic demands attention every day if we want to defeat it and have HIV/AIDS free generations.
Some people with HIV/AIDS and activists object to World AIDS Day – essentially saying it allows people to ignore the epidemic the rest of the year, as long as they remember it for a single day.
Paying lip service. Window dressing. Look at the Onion cover in that light.
From my side, World AIDS Day does have advantages. It’s the one time of the year that all media make space for HIV/AIDS stories.