Hope for an AIDS-Free Generation: How to Help

Nov 7, 2011 5:23pm

World Aids Day, Dec. 1, 2011: Two Ways You Can Show Support

In October the RED Campaign and ONE Foundation issued a call to President Obama to create an AIDS Free Generation by 2015.

The organizations say there’s  two ways you can help. First:  join the rallying call for an AIDS free generation by 2015 by joining the ONE campaign.  Second:  Buy PRODUCT (RED), specialty products designated by major manufacturers who commit to funnel a portion of profits from those products to HIV-prevention causes.

In total, more than $175 million in revenue has been generated from (RED) products and (RED)-themed parties, to fund AIDS prevention programs in Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.

An Elegant Solution

Five years ago, PRODUCT (RED) pioneered a new way of giving by partnering with major consumer brands like Apple, American Express, Bugaboo, Converse, Dell, Gap, Nike, and Starbucks, which create and sell special red-colored products. As much 50% of the gross products of the (Red) items go to the Global Fund to invest in African AIDS prevention programs.

Every day more than 1,000 newborns contract the HIV virus from their mothers. Without treatment, about half of these babies will die before their second birthday.  The medicines exist to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to ensure that all children are born HIV-free, but first women need access to HIV testing during pregnancy and treatment after the babies are born. For millions around the world, these interventions have been out of reach.

Through the work of the the Global Fund, as many as 240,000 HIV-positive people have gained access to antiretroviral therapy, more than 95,000 HIV-positive pregnant women have received preventative antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission, and more than 7 million people have undergone HIV testing and counseling, the organization reports. Global Fund also supports feeding and education programs for children orphaned by AIDS.

Global Fund’s goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of AIDS is steadily becoming a reality.   ”With continued funding and focus, we could see this possibility become reality as early as the year 2015,” according to the fund’s website.

ONE, the  grassroots advocacy organization started by U2 front man Bono, works to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to fund projects that make a difference through the Global Fund.

HIV/AIDS IN AFRICA FACTS:

  • Of the over 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS, Africa (which has just over 10% of the world’s population) is home to more than 67%.
  • HIV/AIDS  is the leading cause of death in Africa, with approximately 3,600 people dying every day from AIDS.
  • An estimated 14.8 million children in Africa have been orphaned because of HIV/AIDS already and this number is growing.
  • More than 1,000 children, most within sub-Saharan Africa, are infected with HIV each day.
  • It costs around 40 cents to fund the two pills a day needed to keep someone with HIV in Africa alive.
  • Still, more than 70% of the people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than two dollars a day and cannot afford this medicine.
  • AIDS is a preventable, treatable disease in Africa if the means exist to buy and administer the medicine that is needed.  (RED) engages business and consumer power to do just that; provide people with the chance to stay alive, take care of their families and contribute to their communities – through the purchase of the two pills a day, and the support regime, they need to stay alive.

For more information about the Global Fund, visit www.theglobalfund.org

For more information about (RED), visit www.joinred.com

To join the ONE Foundation visit www.one.org/

For more information on HIV/AIDS around the world:
• Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet.
• Country-by-country numbers.
• UNAIDS report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, and a 2009 update.
• Report on treatment progress from WHO/UNAIDS/WHO.
• Information about new WHO treatment guidelines issued in November 2009.
• CDC information about HIV/AIDS.
• Answers to frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS.
• President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) web site, and a Kaiser fact sheet on the program.
• Kaiser guides to news reporting on HIV/AIDS issues, available in English and a variety of other languages.

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