Top Ten Stories of 2006: 5) Bono Helps Provide Free AIDS Drugs...

Top Ten Stories of 2006: 5) Bono Helps Provide Free AIDS Drugs to Africa

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5) Bono Joins Kenya and India Providing Money for Free AIDS Drugs, Saving Thousands

• Hollywood and corporate stars added their heft to efforts funneling money into AIDS programs. Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington donated $1 million to a Los Angeles charity helping to find homes for the 17 million children made orphans by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Bono created the Product Red campaign to raise funds for the Global Fund to fight AIDS. He was joined by Oprah, Armani, Apple, The Gap and Motorola in rolling out the RED campaign that allows Americans to help fight AIDS in Africa by doing what they do best: shopping! Special edition products, like RED iPods will donate a portion of sales to the cause (Apple contributing $10 from each RED nano sold).

Kenya‘s president announced in June that anti-retroviral drugs will now be free to all people with AIDS within all of the nation’s clinics and hospitals. Kenya is one of the few countries that have reduced their citizens’ HIV rate — from 14% in 1997 to 4% today.

India also announced this year they will provide free anti-retroviral drugs for 100,000 Indians by early 2007 as part of a program which has already treated 35,000 people.

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• The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this year it will be investing $23 million over the next three years in its India AIDS prevention Initiative, adding $58 million to earlier committments. Add to that $287 million in grants dedicated by Gates in July to create an international cooperative of 16 labs working together to find a vaccine for AIDS.

• In a similar effort to ease suffering from disease in Africa, Jimmy Carter announced in May that after 25 years the Carter Center had nearly eradicated the little known, yet devastating, disease called Guinea worm. For his action he received this year’s $1 million prize for global health from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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