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Markos Kyprianou

European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection

Closing Speech and presentation of the award for the best European HIV/AIDS awareness television commercial

AIDS – Remember Me?’ European Commission ‘Night of the HIV/AIDS Television Commercials’
Kinepolis, Brussels, 30 November 2006

Let me first of all thank you all for coming tonight and making this possible. I would also like to warmly welcome our partners in this event, in particular MTV, Kinepolis and "La nuit des publivores".

‘AIDS - Remember me?’ is the theme of tonight.

Why do we feel that we need to remind people about an epidemic which first came to public attention 25 years ago?

Because there is evidence that this major public health threat has been forgotten or downplayed by today’s generation of young people

Today more than 39 million people are living with HIV/AIDS globally, and an estimated 2.3 million in Europe alone.

Just this year, three million people have died because of AIDS. There is no vaccine or cure.

Therefore prevention is the key: Prevention through awareness and education, prevention through joint actions, prevention by practicing safe sex.

Tonight we have seen some of the best examples of AIDS prevention messages from the last 25 years: these examples all demonstrate the need to discuss sex openly, to use condoms, and to reach out to people throughout Europe.

These TV commercials clearly reflect the different cultures of our countries at the time they were filmed, but they still express values and emotions understandable to all of us.

Many of the clips we have seen tonight use music and humour, others are hard-hitting and memorable, but all speak to frankly to young people in a language they can understand.

In the past weeks many thousands of people have visited and voted for their favourite AIDS awareness commercials.

Tonight we have had the opportunity to vote by SMS for the best campaign from the top five.

The top five commercials presented for tonight’s final vote were:

• "Roulette" - Germany ;

• "C'est l'exclusion qu'il faut exclure" - Belgium ;

• "Dance4Life" – The Netherlands ;

• "Kitchen" - Belgium ;

• "Do you choose it - safer sex" - Ireland

I am now pleased to be able to announce to you the winner of the best European Union HIV/AIDS awareness television commercial.

And the winner is... ‘Dance4Life’ – from the Netherlands, with 45% of the votes cast by SMS tonight!

The award will be accepted on behalf of the producers of the winning campaign by Colin Dixon (Global Partnerships and Country Support Manager Dance4Life)

Thanks you and congratulations again to Dance4Life.

The show is not over yet, and after this we shall continue with a reception, so I hope you all enjoy the rest of the evening.

Let me finish by saying: remember, protect yourself, protect the one you love and help us spread the message that AIDS is still with us.

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