By Shyla Batliwalla
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 6:05 PM ET
Eighty monuments around the world will turn red in support of the (RED) campaign's 2015 goal to have zero children born infected with HIV.
There are currently over 33 million people worldwide living with AIDS. In 2009, nearly half a million babies were born HIV positive; 90 percent of those babies were in Africa. While these statistics might seem grim, there is hope. With proper treatment, spreading HIV to an unborn baby is 99 percent preventable.
Wednesday, Nov. 1 is World AIDS Day. Governments around the world are gearing up to show their support and commitment to ending the AIDS pandemic. In honor of the ongoing fight, over one dozen countries will light up 80 of the most famous landmarks on the planet to promote awareness.
This global movement is sponsored by (RED), an organization that brings together key international corporations to raise funds for HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Africa. Brands like Nike, Starbucks, Gap, American Express and Armani create and sell products exclusively for the (RED) campaign. Fifty percent of the proceeds generated from sales are donated directly to (RED).
Since its inception in 2006, (RED) has generated over $150 million towards the fight against AIDS. The World AIDS day campaign underlines their achievable goal to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015. When this goal is realized, the first AIDS free generation in 30 years will be created.
As evening sets in Sydney, Australia, the iconic Opera House will be illuminated in red with U2's Bono kicking off the campaign. Time zone by time zone, similarly significant attractions will turn red for just one night. From Table Mountain in South Africa and the London Eye in London to the Empire State Building in New York and LAX in LA, on Wednesday the world will see red as a symbol of hope that an end to the fight against AIDS is near.
(RED) CEO Susan Ellis said, "This is a time of great hope and promise in the battle against AIDS, because we are on the verge of ensuring that virtually no child will come into the world carrying the burden of HIV. Our World AIDS Day awareness campaign, 'The AIDS Free Generation is Due in 2015' is a reminder to everyone that we must work together to overcome the financial challenges at this critical juncture and to keep the world focused on this issue and this achievable goal."
Show your solidarity on Global AIDS day by using Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare and MeetUp to send images and words of support. (RED) will be collecting the data on a map to show how the world is united in the fight against AIDS. With enough support, (RED)'s goal to have zero children born with HIV in 2015 will become a reality.