valentine-auction.jpg“A Valentine’s Day art auction conceived by U2 frontman and activist Bono together with British artist Damien Hirst has raised $42.5 million for UN-backed health programs in Africa.”

The contemporary art auction was part of the (RED) campaign, which, since being launched in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, has become one of the largest consumer-based fundraising efforts by the private sector in support of international humanitarian issues, specifically The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Age in Australia reports, that artists such as Georg Baselitz, Howard Hodgkin, Jasper Johns, Anish Kapoor and Jeff Koons contributed works for the red-themed Valentine’s Day, which was attended by Tennis legend John McEnroe, supermodel Helena Christensen and Hollywood actor and director Dennis Hopper. 

“We are very excited by this extraordinary result, which brings (RED)’s total contribution to more than $100 million in less than two years,” said Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “The money from this art will literally be turned into thousands of lives saved.”

Since its creation in 2006, (RED) was created as a consumer brand to deliver dollars from shoppers directly into the Global Fund and to raise public awareness about the AIDS emergency in Africa. Through the sale of red products from its partners – the Gap, Hallmark, Apple, Motorola, Emporio Armani, American Express, Converse, Microsoft and Dell funds generated by (RED) have already provided anti-retroviral treatments to nearly 30,000 people and reached over one million women and children.

valentine-art.jpg The Global Fund takes no overhead so that all (RED) money is sent directly to the Fund to be invested in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.

The Global Fund has contributed more than $10 billion to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through 550 programmes in 136 countries.

Read the GNN story — and see the photo — of Oprah and Bono launching the RED line of charity products.

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