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Selinah Has AIDS

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Selinah Has AIDS

Selinah has AIDS, and eye-opening video on the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs…

This has to be the most clever and emotionally moving AIDS awareness I have ever seen. The clip was made by Ogilvy Johannesburg and Topsy Foundation to demonstrate the effectiveness of the current antiretroviral medications used to treat the devastating immune deficiency.

In the clip Selinah agreed to be filmed for 90, in the hope that others may learn from her story. The clip starts by counting down the 90 days of Selinah’s life-changing experience. As the clip rolls on, Selinah appears to become a skeleton of her former self; the progression of what appears to be her decline is extreme saddening (it also leaves you wondering how long these antiretroviral drugs take to work) but at end you realize the whole video was in reverse; it was actually showing Selinah recovering from disease, entering the bed on day 1 to begin her medication.

The sound track to the clip is called Human and was composed by Leah Siegel. Siegel actually recorded the track especially for the campaign, which is probably why it’s so fitting.

The advert gained notoriety quickly, and quite deservedly so. It was picked up by the UK’s BBC and became one of the most popular videos used in last year’s nationwide fundraiser, Comic Relief.

Also known as Red Nose Day, Comic Relief call’s on all walks of Great Britain’s businesses, from the leading TV broadcasters, to supermarket chains, all the way down to the office, pubs and local organizations. Literally everyone chips in to hold fund raisers and events that raise money for campaigns such as the treatment of AIDS.

Since its creation in 1985, Comic Relief has raised over 650 million pounds for charity, helping over 76 countries in the world by funding over 12,000 projects. This year’s Comic Relief, held on 18th March, has already raised over 74 million; a figure that will keep increasing as people continue to donate throughout the year.


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  1. Press Release: Powerful campaign for The Topsy Foundation wins highest accolade at Cannes. Topsy Foundation, 2010.

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