Each day this week, we’ll highlight a major accomplishment in the fight against poverty that ONE members helped achieve in 2011. Today, ONE’s US Deputy Director for New Media Garth Moore discusses our World AIDS Day campaign.
Last summer, new scientific studies pointed to a tantalizing possibility: The Beginning of the End of AIDS. What could that have meant? A horrible disease that has taken millions of lives could be on the downhill thanks to advancements and lower costs for treatment and prevention. Suddenly, villages and communities where AIDS was once a death sentence could be kept healthy and avoid getting HIV in the first place through stopping mother-to-child transmission and more preventive methods. When ONE, (RED) and other partners combined forces to push US leaders to scale up treatment and prevention, we recognized this wasn’t a pipe dream, but a serious call to action.
And you came along with us! Our campaign started in October, as ONE and (RED) members tweeted at the White House, calling for a bold plan to fund the fight against AIDS and continue to lead in the fight. Later in November, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set a new direction for a global AIDS plan by emphasizing HIV-fighting drugs that can prevent new infections. Seeing this new direction with our friends at amfAR, HealthGap, ActV and others, we pulled out all stops for World AIDS Day.
ONE and (RED) launched two major events on December 1. One was a powerful live event broadcast from Washington DC (which you can watch in the player above), the other was a powerful new action that will continue to grow in 2012. The live event, The Beginning of the End of AIDS, featured a wealth of personalities: Bono, Alicia Keys, Elton John, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Sen. Marco Rubio, among others. The highlight of the event was President Obama’s bold new commitments toward the AIDS fight, including antiretroviral treatments for 6 million people through PEPFAR by 2013 — two million more than their previous goal — and re-dedicated efforts to support the Global Fund. The broadcast, powered by YouTube, was seen by millions worldwide on our YouTube channel.
World AIDS Day also featured the launch of the (2015)QUILT — ONE and (RED)’s digital AIDS quilt. In the spirit of the original AIDS quilt from the The Names Project Foundation, our quilt will be used as an advocacy piece throughout 2012 to show the voices of thousands of activists calling for the end of AIDS. So far, almost 40,000 quilt panels have been created, showing the true creative spirit of a community ready to end this fatal disease.
Next year, we want to work with you to raise our voices at the G8 Summit in Chicago this May, at the International AIDS Conference this July in Washington DC, and at the Global Fund replenishment conference later in 2012. The quilt can be a symbol of how the community voices are weaved together in this fight. And we want you to join us. If you haven’t created a panel, get started now. If you have, keep sharing it with your friends and stay tuned for the fight in 2012.