Scarlett Johansson, actress and activist returns this week from her first trip to Rwanda with (RED), the initiative to engage business and consumer power in the fight against AIDS in Africa. During her four day stay, the actress visited projects and people who benefit from the flow of (RED) funds via the Global Fund into Rwanda to help tackle the AIDS and HIV pandemic there. Scarlett has supported (RED) since its launch in 2006.
The results of such projects are evident in the statistics – 5% of Rwanda’s 9 million population was HIV positive in 2003, and in 2007 this rate is down to 3%*.
It has been over 2 years since (RED) funds began flowing into Global Fund projects in Rwanda, with over $22 million into the country so far. The power of (RED) consumer action has helped provide antiretroviral therapy for HIV and AIDS to over 17,000 patients, and reached over 408,000 pregnant women with counseling and services to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Scarlett Johansson’s itinerary included the following:
* Treatment Research and AIDS Clinic (TRAC), Kigali – Rwanda’s principal HIV clinic and primary centre for national HIV and AIDS research and monitoring where Scarlett met with doctors and HIV positive patients. She also attended a support group meeting of a small number of teens living with HIV.
Results So Far:
(RED) money that has flowed to Rwanda supports Global Fund-financed programs which have already:
* provided antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS to over 17,000 patients
(RED)’s primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help fight AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT) RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund, to finance AIDS programs in Africa, with an emphasis on the health of women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, Motorola, Hallmark (currently US and Canada), Dell and Microsoft. MySpace.com is the first media sponsor in the United Kingdom and MTV Networks is the first media sponsor in the US.
Since its launch in the spring of 2006, more than $110 million has been generated by (RED) partners and events for the Global Fund. (RED) money is already at work in Swaziland, Rwanda, Ghana and Lesotho.