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Auction Raised Money to Fight AIDS
Even as the world enters a new decade, AIDS remains a serious epidemic. It is a widespread and deadly disease that mostly affects poor countries. There are many organizations that work to fight this harsh truth, including one called (RED). In December 2019, the “PAINT (RED) SAVE LIVES” auction raised money to fight AIDS.

About (RED)

Bono and Bobby Shiver founded (RED) in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shiver. (RED) works to raise money to help the fight against AIDS, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. It does this by partnering with leading brands to make and sell (RED) products, identifiable by their actual red coloring, and sending all of the money to HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Every company that (RED) partners with offers a different type of red-colored product. Johnson & Johnson sells special (BAND-AID) RED bandages. Twenty cents from each sale goes to the fight against AIDS. Stella Luna sells red sneakers and chain sandals to contribute to the cause, while Vilebrequin sells T-shirts, swim trunks and beach bags. Bank of America has a web page where people can donate to (RED). Bank of America matches donations.

The Auction

The “PAINT (RED) SAVE LIVES” auction took place in December 2019. It was an art auction that featured red paintings from 30 different artists. Twenty-five murals in 25 cities around the world served as advertisements for the event.

Bidding for the auction closed on December 17, 2019. Fifty percent of the proceeds from every sale went to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The sales contributed to the Global Fund reaching its goal of earning $14 billion by the end of that year. It is hoped that these proceeds will contribute to saving 16 million lives in AIDS-prone countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

Impact

The “PAINT (RED) SAVE LIVES” auction raised money to fight AIDS. The proceeds that it earned were the latest in a long line of accomplishments by (RED). The organization has raised more than $600 million since its founding and sent money to numerous AIDS organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to these organizations and donations, 24 million people with HIV have access to medicine.

(RED) is aware that medicine is not the sole solution to the AIDS epidemic. Its funding has also helped with other initiatives. The organization is helping condoms become available to prevent the spread of HIV. It is also aiding in the development of new medications and medical procedures to reduce the risk further. Thanks to new testing procedures, 79 percent of people with HIV now know that they have it, allowing them to receive treatment sooner and live longer. Furthermore, 82 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women are receiving antiretroviral treatment to prevent passing AIDS to their children. The organization is providing funding to make sure that adolescents receive education about AIDS and its risks.

The AIDS epidemic remains a big problem, especially for poor areas like sub-Saharan Africa. Roughly 400 babies are born with HIV each day and one teenager suffers infection every three minutes. AIDS continues to kill more people than any other disease. The “PAINT (RED) SAVE LIVES” auction raised money to fight AIDS, and the funds are helping to eradicate AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cassie Parvaz
Photo: Flickr

How S'well Bottles Serve the World
Sarah Kauss, the CEO and Founder of S’well, launched the company in 2010 with the primary goal of ridding the world of plastic water bottles and doing some good for the environment. S’well grew immensely in popularity since its creation. It now partners with UNICEF, American Forests, Drink Up and (RED) to serve global needs.

S’well bottles serve the world through the company’s partnership with UNICEF USA, contributing $800,000 since 2015 to help provide clean and safe water to the world’s most vulnerable communities. S’well is dedicated to supporting water programs across Madagascar through 2018, where nearly 50 percent of the population lacks access to clean drinking water. The company aims to assist in building infrastructure, educating families on water-borne diseases and promoting national reform to make long-lasting change.

In addition to UNICEF, S’well also supports (RED), an organization paving the way toward an AIDS-free generation. Through its global impact and the help of many partners, (RED) raised $465 million over the past decade. This year, S’well introduced the (RED) Water Bottle to fight HIV, after an eye-opening and hopeful visit to Kenya to witness (RED)’s efforts firsthand. Since 1990, Kenya successfully halved both the number of child deaths and HIV prevalence in adults. To continue down this road of achievements, S’well supports education, treatment and awareness-building efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Twenty percent of the retail price for every (RED) bottle is donated to the cause.

The fact that S’well bottles serve the world with such an embedded purpose contributes to the company’s success. The product is marketable by its listed description as “… the only reusable bottle that looks great and does good. It keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 while giving back to those in need.” S’well’s social mission is best outlined by Kauss, “… it’s just the right thing to do… It’s part of our DNA, it’s part of our mission statement and part of everything that we do.” S’well has expanded rapidly through its ties with Starbucks. It is launching its products at the bustling business around the world – with thousands of locations in North America, Brazil, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and South Africa.

The thought of how the purchase of a single water bottle can make a difference in developing areas is inspiring and certainly worth reflecting on. S’well bottles serve the world in more ways than one. They benefit the environment and charitable causes in America, while reaching out on a global scale.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

Product (RED)Since its discovery in 1981, 35 million people have died from AIDS or AIDS-related diseases. The early years of the disease presented challenges for the medical community. However, as more people learned about the disease, another challenge emerged: how to best educate the public about the dangers of the disease without creating a stigma. This challenge still persists today.

The worldwide impact of AIDS is prolific. In 2015, 36.7 million people were living with HIV. Every day approximately 5,753 people contract HIV — about 240 every hour. In 2015, 1.1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 78 million people have contracted HIV and 35 million have died of AIDS-related causes.

In 2006, Bono, lead singer of the Irish band U2, and Bobby Shriver, an activist and attorney, created Product (RED) to advocate for better awareness of AIDS. The two men believed that if they combined the efforts of NGOs, governments, the medical community, global business brands and celebrities, they could create a powerful force to foster understanding of the disease. The influential allies also provided funding for research to eradicate the disease.

Product (RED) business partnerships include Apple, Gap, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola. By creating products specifically for Product (RED), the partnership allows consumers to use purchasing power to fund AIDS treatment and awareness around the globe. (RED) partners contribute a portion of their (RED) product profits to fight AIDS, and up to 50 percent of the profits go directly to fighting AIDS.

Over the past decade, Product (RED) raised $365 million to support the Global Fund. Product (RED) has become a global brand; the combination of awareness and research is powerful. The money raised by Product (RED) provides life-saving medicine for those living with AIDS in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

When Product (RED) began, only 2.1 million people had access to medication. Through their efforts, the organization raised money to fund medication for more than 18 million people. They have also increased the access to medication; in rural areas of Africa, filling a prescription is not easily accomplished. However, Product (RED) and its partnership with the Global Fund help create a pathway for the medication, by making sure the medicine reaches the people that need it most, the system is more efficient and life-saving.

AIDS is a worldwide epidemic, but the decade of Product (RED) illustrates the power of the combination of global alliances and knowledgeable consumers as a force for change.

Jennifer Graham

Photo: Flickr