So here we are, another World AIDS day has come around and still we have no cure.
Earlier this year I hosted Amfar's Cinema Against AIDS gala at the Cannes film festival, and whilst we raised a ton of much-needed cash for research and prevention programs, it seemed to me that people have become a bit bored of HIV/AIDS, certainly posh people that night in Cannes. And that I think is the best, and the worst thing that could possibly have happened to the AIDS crisis.
It's the best because in many ways AIDS has now become just like any other disease that we don't have a cure for, and much of the homophobic and racist stigma that has been attached to it seems to have been chipped away (although there's a long way to go too); why it's worst is that people are tired of the fight- and never forget that curbing this disease is a huge worldwide fight, economically, politically and socially - and no battle can be won when the troops are losing sight of the prize.
That's why I was so excited when, filming in South Africa this summer, I discovered that the techniques of preventing mother to child HIV infection have become incredibly successful and it is generally believed that it's possible to stop all mother/child transmission of the virus by 2015!! Do you see what that means?! Yes, the possibility of the first generation in almost 30 years where virtually no child is born with HIV. It's the best news I've heard in years!
And on this World AIDS day, the lovely people at RED want to highlight the good news and step up the efforts so that that statistic comes true. Starting with the Sydney Opera House being turned red by Bono, many landmarks around the world will be lit up in red too. And here's how you can help...
Turn your Facebook page red
Share a 2015 tweet using #turnred
Ask people to 'shout' out on Foursquare with #turnred
(I don't actually understand what that last thing means but if you do, please just do it, okay?!)
All of these small actions will add up. Each time someone changes their profile picture on Facebook, or tweets using #turnred, the message is mapped to a data visualizer map, that Red has developed with Ushahidi, a crowd-sourcing platform that was created by a technology team in Kenya . I know, it' so James Bond isn't it?! Each action helps turn their time-zone on the map the color red. The more activity, the deeper the color.
So help turn the whole world a deep, deep red this World AIDS day and look forward to the possibility of a generation free from HIV/AIDS. Find out more about the issue and how to get involved at JOINRED.COM