U2's Bono Sings New Song At AIDS Tour Kickoff

Singer visiting seven U.S. cities to raise awareness of HIV's toll in Africa.

Bono closed out a two-hour AIDS awareness rally in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Sunday with a new song called "America's Prayer."

Addressing more than 2,300 people on World AIDS Day, the singer discussed the AIDS epidemic in Africa and encouraged Americans to help halt the spread of the deadly disease.

Lincoln was the first of seven cities Bono will visit as part of the Heart of America Tour, spearheaded by the nonprofit advocacy group Debt, AIDS, Trade for Africa, founded by the Irish political rocker earlier this year.

"It's not about charity," the Associated Press quoted Bono as saying. "It's about justice and equality. I'm not here to lecture, and even though it's Sunday I'm not here to preach."

Actress Ashley Judd and four-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong were also on hand at the event, held at Lincoln's Lied Center for the Performing Arts. Judd is scheduled to appear at the other Heart of America Tour stops as well.

The tour is the latest effort in Bono's continued campaign to improve conditions in Africa. The mission of Debt, AIDS, Trade for Africa is to foster economic aid, lower trade embargoes and raise money to fight AIDS.

Seventy-five percent of the 42 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, live in Sub-Saharan Africa, according the United Nations' AIDS agency, UNAIDS.

Events were also staged in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to observe World AIDS Day.

Heart of America Tour dates:

  • 12/2 - Iowa City, IA

  • 12/3 - Waterloo, IA

  • 12/3 - Chicago, IL

  • 12/4 - Chicago, IL

  • 12/5 - Indianapolis, IN

  • 12/6 - Cincinnati, OH

  • 12/7 - Louisville, KY

  • 12/8 - Nashville, TN

For more on the fight against AIDS, check out MTV's "Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself" campaign.