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Friday, March 1
The Indiana Daily Student


Sean Combs decries world AIDS effort

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs accused the media of ignoring the severity of the AIDS epidemic before performing at an AIDS-awareness concert Saturday. \n"I don't think you see enough of this story in your face," an indignant Combs told reporters. "There are millions and millions of people that are dying and a lot of it is ... because it's Africans, it's black people that are dying at this high rate." \nCombs, R&B artists Alicia Keys and Usher and top South African acts Mandoza and Zola were in Cape Town to perform at MTV's Staying Alive Concert, which the network will broadcast globally for World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. \nCombs and Keys spent several days in South Africa visiting AIDS projects, and said they were shocked at the extent of the problem. \n"Once you know about it, you are almost an accessory to the genocide ... if you don't do anything about it," said Combs, 33, who was formerly known as Puff Daddy. \nAn estimated 4.7 million South Africans -- about 11 percent of the population -- are HIV positive, one of the world's highest infection rates. \nKeys, who at 21 has already won five Grammy awards, said she felt obliged to use her influence to educate young people about AIDS and safe sex. \nFunded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Saturday's concert was intended to encourage prevention and to help fight the stigma and discrimination that surrounds the illness. \nMichelle Branch, Dave Matthews and Missy Elliott performed at a similar concert Nov. 7 in Seattle.

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