Condom A Capella Ringtone Fights HIV In India

The BBC World Service Trust has begun an unusual, new campaign to help prevent the transmission of HIV in India. It's a ringtone — for your cell phone. It features the word "condom" repeated over and over in a catchy, a capella arrangement.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And now a very different technology story for you. It's about a new public-health campaign in India, a campaign that's using technology to prevent the transmission of HIV, or at least to remind people how they might prevent the transmission of HIV. It's this.

(Soundbite of ringtone)

Unidentified Men: (Singing) Condom.

SIEGEL: That's right, the word is condom. It's a ringtone for your cell phone. It's a catchy a capella arrangement of the word that just repeats it over and over and over.

(Soundbite of ringtone)

Unidentified People: (Singing) Condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom, condom…

SIEGEL: The ringtone campaign is the brainchild of the BBC World Service Trust and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. India has 2.5 million people living with HIV. In less than a month, according to the campaign's organizers, the condom song has been downloaded more than 60,000 times. That's .02 percent of the cell phone-owning population of India.

(Soundbite of ringtone)

Unidentified People: (Singing) Condom, condom, condom, condom…

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