PBS, May 30, 2006
Bono, nÃ©e Paul Hewson, is the lead singer of the rock band U2. Throughout his career, he has involved himself in humanitarian causes; in 1997 he began working on debt relief for Africa and in 2002 he formed DATA, a nonprofit organization that stands for Debt AIDS Trade Africa. Here, he explains how his AIDS activism became an extension of that work. He also talks about his alliance with evangelical Christians: "I think [that] of evangelicals polled in 2000, only 6 percent felt it incumbent upon them to respond to the AIDS emergency," he explains. "I was deeply offended by that, so I asked to meet with as many church leaders as I could, and used examples from the Scriptures. 'Isn't this the leprosy of our age?' I argued. 'Isn't this what the Christ spent his time with?'" Bono also recounts his efforts lobbying former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) with biblical verses and his meetings with President George W. Bush, including "a good old row" about the speed at which antiretroviral drugs were being delivered to Africa under the president's $15 billion plan. "How we respond to the AIDS emergency will describe us for posterity," he tells Frontline. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Dec. 9, 2005.