Since its launch in January 2006, (RED) has raised $350 million to fight the AIDS epidemic. To mark the 10th anniversary, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar that (RED) generates in 2016, up to $50 million.
Rock star Bono and Bobby Shriver founded the (RED) organization as a way to funnel money from the private sector to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Specifically, the (RED) funds go to HIV/AIDS grants in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.
Funds are raised through special events, corporate partnerships, and the sales of (RED)-branded goods and services.
According to a (RED) press release, the $350 million raised so far has “impacted the lives of 60 million people with prevention, treatment, counseling, HIV testing and care services. Life-saving [antiretroviral] medication now costs as little as 30 cents a day in sub-Saharan Africa; it not only saves the lives of mothers living with HIV but also prevents transmission of the virus to their unborn babies. By getting the medicine to those who need it most, an AIDS-Free Generation can become a reality in as few as five years.”
“Over the past decade, (RED) has enrolled millions of people and dozens of brands in the global fight against AIDS,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, in the press release. “Today’s match will provide the Global Fund with up to $100 million to help save 60,000 lives, prevent 2.3 million new infections and generate more than $2 billion in economic gains for developing countries. That’s an amazing return on investment.”