What do Zach Galifianakis and President Obama have in common?

What do Zach Galifianakis and President Obama have in common?


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No, they didn’t grow up in the same town. They weren’t born in the same month. And I doubt they kick it together on the weekends. So…what is it?

Like the President of the United States, Zach is committed to reaching the beginning of the end of AIDS by 2015. It’s obvious how a world leader can help. What’s not so obvious is how comedians like Zach can help. Change starts with awareness. And Zach and his friends at Funny or Die, a comedy video website, are pretty amazing at getting your attention. Don’t believe me? Watch this:

The beginning of the end of AIDS. Sounds lofty. What does it really mean and why does this disparate pair believe in it?

The beginning of the end of AIDS is the point at which new people on life-saving antiretroviral treatment outpace those infected with HIV in a given year. Zach and Obama think it’s possible to see this day by 2015 because the world’s leading scientists and policy experts do. According to them, more than 6.6 million people are now on life-saving treatment, up from just 100,000 in 2002. And they also agree with the experts when they say we can’t stop now. Around the world, 8 million people still need treatment, and new HIV infections outpace those placed on treatment by nearly 2:1.

President Obama showed his dedication to continuing this fight on World AIDS Day 2011 by committing to bold new treatment and prevention targets. He also told the world how he thinks we can get it done:

“Now, as we go forward, we’ve got to keep refining our strategy so that we’re saving as many lives as possible. We need to listen when the scientific community focuses on prevention. That’s why, as a matter of policy, we’re now investing in what works — from medical procedures to promoting healthy behavior.“

The leading policy and scientific experts who helped convinced the President also kept the pressure on last week at the IAC, where they gathered by the thousands to share, pay tribute and light fires under the leaders who still need to do more. This group is the backbone of the AIDS fight. They provide the evidence that proves a future free from AIDS is possible in 2015.

Zach and our friends from Funny or Die agreed that this evidence is worth sharing. And while the nerds of this world may be responsible for finding it, the entertainers are better at spreading it — especially the funny ones.

The fight against AIDS is not about the left of the right. It’s not about politics or entertainment. It’s about our belief in the shared value of human life, and that where you live shouldn’t dictate whether you live or die. That is what ONE is all about. It’s why I’m here, and I know it’s why many of you are here as ONE activists. Keep fighting the good fight.


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