World AIDS Day presents an opportunity every year to raise the profile of the pandemic and remind people of the havoc it's wreaked in its 31 years of existence. It's enacted a staggering death toll of nearly 30 million people -- killed by a tiny, preventable and treatable virus called HIV.
The date also gives us a responsibility to make as much noise as we can about the disease -- to remind people that it's still one of the deadliest health issues for people in Sub-Saharan Africa -- and in a domino effect, a huge threat to economic traction in countries worst affected. After all, if a quarter of your population has a death sentence on its head, how on earth is it going to become financially healthy?
But World AIDS Day also gives us a chance to tell people about the progress that's been made against the disease in the last 10 years, primarily because of America's generosity through its funding of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. 6.2 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are alive today because these organizations have been able to fund 40-cent-per-day medication to help people stay alive for themselves and their families, and allowing them to contribute to their communities and the health of their nations. Millions of others and many communities are positively affected through education about prevention.
Consequently, we now have a roadmap for beginning the end of the pandemic, and one of the critical milestones is the virtual elimination of HIV transmission from moms to their babies by 2015 -- a possibility we can help make a reality.
As the goal of an AIDS Free Generation by 2015 draws nearer by the day, we know that keeping heat on the topic of AIDS means our approach to raising funds and awareness has to be bigger, bolder and brighter. Since its launch in 2006, (RED) has generated $200 million for Global Fund HIV/AIDS grants, and those grants have impacted more than 14 million people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. But now imagine how far and how fast we could take this fight against AIDS if we successfully engage with and channel today's youth. That's why this World AIDS Day, we're making a whole lot of noise with the electronic dance music community.
We're going big and bold. Big with the world's hottest DJ Tiësto who has jumped head-first into the fight. He's put together an incredible campaign called DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES, which includes a mind-blowing compilation album, on sale now through iTunes. Tiësto personally brought together some of the biggest names in dance music -- Avicii, Calvin Harris, Diplo and others -- to feature on this very special album. Bold is our request to the world this World AIDS Day weekend. (RED) and Tiësto are asking the world to get up and dance, with amazing sets from world famous DJs streamed live around the globe on www.youtube.com/joinred from the Stereosonic Festival in Melbourne. But it doesn't stop there. Scores of buildings, including the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building and the London Eye, will be illuminated (RED) on World AIDS Day. There will be (RED) dance parties at a number of The Standard Hotels across the U.S. New online (RED) shopping experiences from GIlt.com and exciting announcements from Coca-Cola this World AIDS Day will help rally and mobilize the world around this critical mission.
The very definition of momentum is "the impetus gained by a moving object." This World AIDS Day, lets all move together and generate more momentum. We already know that every generation is known for something; lets make this generation the one known for beginning the end of AIDS.
This blog post was produced by The Huffington Post and (RED) as part of a series recognizing World AIDS Day, which is December 1. Click here to see other posts in the series and here to see content from "The Big Push" (the initiative by the Global Fund, the recipient of (RED) monies, to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). For more information about how you can get involved on World AIDS Day, please go to www.joinred.com/worldaidsday.