By Marijke Wijnroks, Interim Executive Director
December 1, World AIDS Day, is an important moment for the global health community. For the Global Fund, it’s a moment to reflect on the progress that’s been made. From scientific breakthroughs to social movements to defeat stigma and discrimination, we’ve come so far since the darkest days of the AIDS crisis.
It’s a moment to express gratitude for our partners, donors and the communities who guide our investments. The Global Fund’s existence is predicated on the trust placed in us by partners and the goodwill of people from all walks of life – people who know that human ingenuity and compassion is bigger than HIV.
And it’s a moment to renew our commitment to ending HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics. We have made incredible gains together. 22 million lives saved. Through Global Fund-supported programs, 4.2 million HIV-positive mothers received treatment to prevent transmission of the virus to their children and 11 million people are on lifesaving ARV therapy.
This impact is all thanks to partnership. One of our longest-running partnerships is with (RED), the brainchild of Bono and Bobby Shriver to harness the power of people and iconic brands to help fight AIDS.
Since (RED)’s founding in 2006, the money raised through special events and campaigns led by more than 100 private sector partners, supporters and creative collaborators has benefited the lives of 110 million people through HIV treatment, prevention, testing, counseling and care services.
And just in time for World AIDS Day, (RED) has hit a major milestone. It has generated a total of US$500 million for the Global Fund.
(RED) has leveraged transformational support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has provided matching funds for key campaigns to multiply the impact of individual and corporate donations. For the third year in a row, the Gates Foundation will be matching every dollar raised for (RED)’s SHOPATHON, up to US$15 million.
The Global Fund is grateful to (RED), its fantastic corporate, celebrity and philanthropic partners, and the countless compassionate consumers who have chosen (RED) to help fight HIV.