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One might not expect a politician and an award-winning entertainer to have much in common, but former US President Bill Clinton and actor/singer Jamie Foxx speak the same language when it comes to active involvement in fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis & malaria. The two shared the stage during the Annual Global Business Coalition Gala on June 13th at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The award Gala is held annually to recognise companies and people who demonstrate action and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Among the 700-plus guests were political leaders, celebrated entertainers, public heath experts and CEOs of member companies as well as NBA stars Dikembe Mutombo and Samuel Dalembert. Sir Richard Branson was one of the evening’s featured speakers, and discussed the commitment of his Virgin Unite to eradicating the HIV virus.

Jamie Foxx and HBO co-president Richard Plepler presented the premier of Test America, a Public Service Announcement campaign produced in conjunction with the National Basketball Association, GBC, and the Kaiser Family Foundation to educate millions of at-risk Americans about the need to get tested for HIV. Audiences were entertained when Foxx joined DJ Doug. E. Fresh in an impromptu rap, chanting “we’re here to fight H-I-V” with the spectators.

Bill Clinton was honoured with an award for his outstanding action and commitment towards the Global Business Coalition’s fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis & malaria. During his speech at the Gala, he commended Foxx, Doug E. Fresh, and members of the National Basketball Association for taking part in the inspiring Test America PSA campaign. He then thanked GBC for bringing a committed group of leading private-sector executives and NGOs to tackle three global epidemics. He later urged the executives to work together to do what is right: fight for equality for all people, and fight to end the three diseases.

The night left a clear message in mind that it is everybody’s responsibility to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis & malaria. To quote one of the evening’s speakers, Ophelia Haanyama Orum – HIV-positive author of the book “True to Myself”: – “Open your eyes, open your minds, and open your hearts. Walk with me, and continue your work to make a positive difference for people with HIV.”

Source: Global Business Coalition

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