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The Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic

What are you going to do about it? That is the question asked by the cast of Degrassi in 2003. Many people of all ages have no idea just how far-reaching and devastating this global pandemic is. The cast of Degrassi educated themselves and knew that they had to do something. On behalf of UNICEF, the cast of Degrassi came together to create a call to action; a plead for help in the form of a video. They know the facts and acted; after you know the facts, what are you going to do about it?


2 minute video on HIV/AIDS

Windows Media 56K / Broadband


Clip from the UNICEF Video: All words and music written by the cast of Degrassi

Windows Media 56K / Broadband (Right-click and "Save Target As")

Quick Time 56K / Broadband (Right-click and "Save Target As")

(look below for lyrics and poetry written by the cast of Degrassi)



Basic Facts:

  • AIDS is the fourth-largest cause of death worldwide
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 1/3 of all people living with AIDS are under 25
  • 2/3 of all infected are women
  • As of 2002, 42 million people worldwide have HIV/AIDS
  • By 2010, 45 million people will have died from AIDS
  • 14 million children have been orphaned by AIDS
  • Every minute, 6 people die from AIDS


Find Out More and Take Action:

HIV/AIDS has killed entire generations in some countries. The disease continues to spread. However, there is hope. Organizations like the One Campaign, UNICEF, UNAIDS, DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria . . .  the world is gathering to stop the pandemic and eventually cure HIV/AIDS. Live 8, organized by Bono, just held 9 simultaneous concerts worldwide to raise awareness. The world is doing their part, are you going to do yours? Learn more at the following sites, and follow their advice about what you can do. It’s easier to help than you think.


UNICEF Give It Up For Kids:

The One Campaign:


The Global Fund:


Artists Against AIDS Worldwide:



Degrassi Cast Contributions (Lyrics and Poetry)


By Aubrey Graham


Life . . . is so precious . . . and when something comes along and jeopardizes that . . . that feeling of security . . . it makes you think.


It was proven on the topic most youth knew nothing

I was the same way before I sat through a discussion

And realized it’s so far from a joke and a laugh

See AIDS is a true killer and it’s choking them fast

Orphans remember their parents as ghosts in the past

And carry on living their lives praying and hoping they last

It’s you and I see, we’re left to help out UNICEF

Spread the knowledge and word

Make kids holla “ya heard?”

About the causes and all that’s occurred

Kids are dying in countries and we don’t know it

Concern for their situation how are we going to show it

If we’re informed on the issue, then we can discuss and prevent

Instead of wiping tears that probably get crushed in a tissue

According to some information collected

A population the size of ours is infected

Does that affect you? Or would you just shrug it off?

Or when 42 million people die, can you rub it off

As another mishap? We can talk about it in this rap

And I’m going to make sure you don’t miss that




By Cassie Steele


Will I live to see the rain?

I’ve lived enough to se a lifetime of pain.

Everyday, I breathe in sorrow,

Wondering if I’ll see tomorrow.

Every night, I try to sleep,

Cause every day, I’m sinking deep

In an ocean, can’t reach the floor

To a room, can’t find the door.


Does anybody care?

Will they listen to my prayer?

And I die more each day,

Is there some hope, is there a way?

Hold me tight and don’t let go,

This is not a TV show.

Tell me do you understand?

Save our lives and take my hand.



Me and You

By Adamo Ruggiero


I grow chubby, my cheeks so playfully plump,

You grow thin, your frail eyes sing and your skin piles with lumps.


I memorize my mother’s eyes, her smell, and her voice so delicate and fragile,

You only know your mother’s name and her face is what you create and compile.

My father tickles my belly and calls me his best pal, his closest mate,

You father needs more water, he’s dying and your brother says, “where we live it’s fate.”


I grab a bite to eat, then shampoo my hair and iron my jeans,

Your siblings scream with hunger and you are their only means.

I grab my bike and race down to my best friend’s sweet sixteen blast,

You sing yourself Happy Birthday under the rain and pray to God it’s not your last


Now it is my turn to close my eyes and say goodbye,

I am so sorry you had to helplessly watch your precious family die.




By Jake Epstein


When you are down and your hours are bleeding

It’s not your fault if you carry a bee

And it it stings all around find a neighbour

Some who cares just enough, just like me.


But in the world everyday they are dying.

Dying to migrate towards the east

To find a different kind of winter

Looking for cures to fight their disease.


Regardless of gender, age and location

The world is not faced with the ultimate tease

Searching for ways to leap over hurdles

Getting first place by any means.


So many people who have it are my age

They do not live with the same kind of ease

Will they know now they hold the same right to

Be as free, happy as everybody


Somebody loves you so you’re not alone

But what if you need them and they are not home

What if your family can’t watch you grow?

How do you get through on your own?


Whatever it takes, I know I can make it through

And if I hold out, I know I can make it through

Do something. Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

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