How Can Shopping Ease AIDS in Africa?

The (RED) project, started by Bono and Bobby Shriver, makes a huge difference for millions of suffering families in Africa.

 

Former supermodel Christy Turlington recently visited Swaziland as part of (PRODUCT) RED’s major initiative to end AIDS and other disease in Africa. Learn what the people there face and where the contributions go.

(RED) is an economic initiative to deliver a sustainable flow of private sector money to AIDS programs focusing on women and children in Africa. By selling RED-branded products to raise funds, worldwide companies contribute a portion of profits from the sales to the project started by U2’s singer and activist Bono and Bobby Shriver, chairman of DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), an organization created to put political pressure on world governments to tackle the key issues surrounding debt, AIDS and trade in Africa.

Below are facts about the epidemic and the money spent to undo it (courtesy of the blogpost.joinred.com blog):

Facts About AIDS in Africa:

Every year 3 million people die from AIDS. Of the 40 million people infected by HIV/AIDS, Africa (which has just over 10% of the world’s population) is home to 60% (25 million). The disease is the leading cause of death in Africa.

Women comprise the fastest-growing population group living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the result of their illness on children is compelling. Every time a man or woman is started on anti-retroviral drugs, the survival of children becomes less precarious.

An estimated 13 million children in Africa have been orphaned because of HIV/AIDS already and this number is growing. Almost 2,000 children, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa, are infected with HIV each day. Of the 660,000 children under 15 years old in need of immediate ARV treatment in 2005, 90% of these children were in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

Swaziland Facts:

  • Population: 1.1m
  • HIV prevalence: 33%
  • Health spend per capita: $66
  • Life Expectancy: 42
  • Number of people living with HIV: 220,000
  • The number of children orphaned by the disease: more than 70,000
  • HIV prevalence among pregnant women rose from 4% in 1992, to 43% in 2004, dropping to 39% in 2006

Overview of Swaziland Grant:


To date, (RED) has generated $25 million for the Global Fund. $11.7 million is already at work in Africa, funding programs in Rwanda ($6.4m) and Swaziland ($5.3m). A third Global Fund grant, in Ghana, will be added to the Global Fund (RED) portfolio later this year.

Grant amount (5 year total): $52,544,145
Amount disbursed so far: $36,468,215
Amount of RED money disbursed: $5,268,370
Program start date: August 1, 2003
Program end date: July 30, 2008
Principal Recipient: Swaziland’s National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS (NERCHA)

Swaziland Results: (RED)™ money that has flowed to Swaziland supports Global Fund-financed programs which have already:

  • reached over 8,200 mothers with services to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV
  • trained over 150 midwives and doctors in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • reached almost 100,000 people with voluntary counseling and testing for prevention of HIV
  • trained over 70 counselors to teach prevention of HIV
  • set up over 35 counseling and testing centers for prevention of HIV
  • established feeding schemes in 335 schools
  • built 277 community feeding centers (KaGogo centers)
  • provided education support for over 59,000 vulnerable children
  • provided anti-retroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS to over 17,000 patients
  • trained over 800 nurses and doctors in treating patients with HIV/AIDS
  • trained almost 3,000 health workers to deliver home-based care for HIV/AIDS patients

Swaziland’s 5-year Goals:

Swaziland’s HIV/AIDS program goals for the next 2-3 years are necessarily ambitious, including a four-fold increase in the number of women receiving treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and almost doubling of the number of people on ARV therapy. In order to meet these targets, additional funding of $16 million (during the remaining 2 years of the 5-year duration of this grant) will be needed. The Global Fund will disburse this money in small increments, committed every 3 months, contingent on continued adequate program performance and achievement of results relative to targets jointly agreed between the Principal Recipient and the Global Fund.

(RED)™ money that has flowed to Swaziland supports Global Fund-financed programs in Swaziland which aim to:

  • reach over 12,000 mothers with services to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV
  • train over 300 midwives and doctors in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission
  • reach over 120,000 people with HIV testing, results and post-test counseling
  • train over 1,600 nurses and doctors in clinical management of HIV/AIDS
  • provide almost 33,000 people with anti-retroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS
  • continue to support community feeding centers and school feeding centers already established
  • continue to provide educational support for vulnerable children
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