Vanguard (Lagos)

Africa: World Aids Day - RED Hits Milestone of U.S.$200 Million to Fight Aids in Africa

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria weekend announced that its largest private sector contributor, RED passed a record milestone of US$ 200 million raised and donated to fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

RED is the largest business initiative supporting the Global Fund and one of the biggest to raise money for an international humanitarian cause. RED partners with the world's most iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Apple, which create products with red items.

Announcing this record last Saturday in a statement, General Manager of the Global Fund, Gabriel Jaramillo described it as fantastic, adding that it shows what partners can do when they come together for a good cause. "We give RED an enormous 'Thank you," Jaramillo said.

RED was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Since 2006, RED has contributed US$ 200,179,357. Of the total, US$ 17,087,169 has been donated this year. The value of the partnership with RED, however, goes beyond money.

The initiative also contributes to raise awareness among consumers. A portion of the sales of those products is donated to the Global Fund and supports the goal of delivering an AIDS-free generation by 2015. Jaramillo noted that funds donated by RED have helped provide life-saving antiretroviral therapy for 220,000 people, put more than 130,000 HIV-positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother-to-child, and reach 13 million people with HIV testing and counseling.

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