When I was looking into getting a new iPhone last year, I noticed that for the first time, Apple was offering red iPhones. I thought the color was cool and soon realized that the red phones were a part of a larger initiative called “(Red),” which is a project that is working to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in several countries in Africa. The way Red works is actually quite simple. Popular companies such as Apple and Amazon have partnered with Red, creating items in the color red, branding them “(Product)RED” and then donating a portion of the profits made to the organization, which then directly uses all of the proceeds toward fighting AIDS. This is a simple and efficient way for people to buy new products while contributing to this cause.
Red works with the Global Fund The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to provide relief in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. The Global Fund receives all Red funds, which are used to support local programs. The Red initiative has raised over $500 million and donated every penny to its campaign. With this money, The Global Fund works to educate people in these African countries on prevention, while providing counseling, treatment, HIV testing and other services. Education is especially important in fighting the AIDS epidemic. Transmission of the disease could be easily prevented, but many people do not receive a basic education on the matter and therefore are never informed on how it can be prevented. Sadly, for young women, AIDS is a leading cause of death on a global scale, and 400 babies are born with HIV every day. So far, Red has directly helped nearly 110 million lives and continues to contribute to The Global Fund.
Red is an important step in not only spreading awareness of the issue of AIDS, but also creating a simplified and reliable way for people to become involved in this issue. There is no need to ask people to make a donation to the campaign; instead, the product itself is the donation. Apple alone has contributed over $200 million over the past 12 years by selling red iPhones, cases, Apple Watches, watch bands and Beats headphones. There is also a wide array of products on Amazon with the Red label. Buyers benefit by purchasing new things while people in need receive part of the proceeds.
Through Red, making a contribution to fighting AIDS has been simplified to meet modern-day habits. Through effective partnerships with popular companies, Red has changed the way ordinary people can become actively involved in helping people in need. Both the buyers and the receivers of funds benefit in this situation. While you’re doing your holiday shopping this year, keep in mind that December is national AIDS Awareness Month, so think about buying something red to support this cause.
Sophia LoBiondo is an undeclared freshman.