SOURCE: Digicel

November 28, 2007 09:00 ET

Digicel Marks World AIDS Day With Launch of Free Information Service

Customers Across the Caribbean Can Now Receive Local HIV/AIDS Referral Services and Information via Text Message

KINGSTON, JAMAICA--(Marketwire - November 28, 2007) - As the Caribbean recognizes World AIDS Day (December 1) 2007, Digicel has launched a new free-of-charge service to connect customers across 16 of its Caribbean markets to local HIV/AIDS resources via text messaging.

The new service, which goes live on December 1st has been developed in association with the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP), enables Digicel customers across the Caribbean to quickly and easily receive information on their mobile phones about local HIV/AIDS clinics, testing centers, and other resources using SMS technology as follows:

--  In Jamaica: Text LIVEUP to 444-INFO (4636) on your Digicel mobile.
--  In Haiti:  Envoyez un message texte avec le mot ANNVIV à INFO (4636) à
    partir de votre téléphone mobile Digicel.
--  In Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada,
    Guyana,  St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname,
    Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and Curacao: Text LIVEUP to INFO (4636)
    on your Digicel mobile.
    

The initiative is a part of CBMP's ongoing regional LIVE UP campaign that includes more than 53 Caribbean media houses from 23 countries and is designed to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region. The new HIV/AIDS text message service will be promoted through new public service ads (PSAs), on-air promotions by CBMP members and on a new regional television magazine program, LIVE UP: The Show produced by the CBMP in collaboration with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

"Our alliance with Digicel helps significantly extend the reach of the LIVE UP campaign by allowing young people to access information and resources about HIV/AIDS with the touch of a button," said Dr. Allyson Leacock, CBMP Executive Director. "Our campaign is about engaging young people to help stem the spread of the disease by 'LIVING UP' in their own lives. This free service by Digicel helps empower young people to take control of their health using technology with which they are already comfortable."

"We see it as our responsibility at Digicel to share the benefits of mobile technology particularly amongst young people," said Brian Finn, Commercial Director of Digicel Group. "Digicel is pleased to partner with such a dynamic coalition of Caribbean broadcasters to provide potentially life saving information to our customers. It's an exciting opportunity for our company to make a real difference in the lives of young people, and contribute to AIDS awareness across the region."

Digicel operations across its 23 markets are also involved in local initiatives to commemorate Worlds AIDS Day on December 1st. In Turks and Caicos the mobile operator is hosting a HIV/AIDS Telethon to raise funds to assist the TCI Ministry of Health in providing medication to persons living with HIV/AIDS and to augment prevention education and harm reduction programs.

The Caribbean is the region most affected by HIV/AIDS in this hemisphere, and is second only to sub-Saharan Africa in terms of the impact of the disease. AIDS is a leading cause of death among adults (ages 15-44) in the Caribbean, and 250,000 of the region's residents are living with HIV or AIDS. Half of those are women, and a third are young people between the ages of 15-24.

More information on the CBMP LIVE UP campaign is available on www.iliveup.com.

ABOUT DIGICEL

Since its launch in 2001, Digicel has become the fastest-growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and a new entrant to the Central American market. Digicel is renowned for competitive rates, unbeatable coverage, superior customer care, a wide variety of products and services, and state-of-the-art handsets. It is the largest GSM operator in the region.

Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and has operations in twenty three markets, including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and El Salvador. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barths and is preparing to launch in Suriname.

The company is the lead sponsor of Caribbean sports teams including the West Indies Cricket Team, Special Olympics teams across the Caribbean and is title sponsor of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup, which involves over 30 Caribbean countries and is an important qualifier towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup. For more information, visit http://www.digicelgroup.com.

ABOUT THE CBMP

The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) unites 43 top broadcasters from 23 countries in the region's first coordinated media response to the pandemic. The Partnership creates a structured framework for sharing information and resources among broadcasters that significantly expands HIV/AIDS-related programming and public education activities across the Caribbean. Member broadcasters deliver HIV/AIDS information across a variety of platforms and formats, including targeted public service announcements (PSAs), entertainment programming, news and public affairs programming, and online resources.

In March 2007, the CBMP launched LIVE UP: Love. Protect. Respect. -- a new cross-cutting brand to support all of the Partnership's programming components. Developed by the CBMP with support from a regional advisory committee of media and HIV/AIDS experts, LIVE UP aims to inspire audiences, especially young people, to consider what is within their power to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. LIVE UP creates a regional movement by linking audiences together across the Caribbean with one message of hope and possibility in an age of AIDS. CBMP broadcast members have made HIV/AIDS a business priority -- committing to a minimum of 30 seconds of airtime per hour (or about 12 minutes per day) to LIVE UP content, as well as pledging to cover AIDS across all programming genres, including news, public affairs, entertainment, and new media platforms.

With a recently established regional headquarters in Barbados, the CBMP receives strategic and technical guidance and production support from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Ford Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation provide additional financial support to underwrite production of campaign materials and informational resources. For more information, visit http://www.cbmphiv.org.

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