What plays music and fights the good fight? You can probably think of many bands and musicians that are involved in making the world a better place, such as Bono and U2. But how about an iPod? No need to blast your iTunes in a charity concert. The mere act of buying a (Product) Red iPod nano gets you involved in an international movement to alleviate the suffering and hopelessness of AIDS. That's because Apple contributes $10 of your purchase to the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Global Fund is taking a step beyond bracelets and ribbons to engage consumers around the word to make a serious assault on this hideous disease. They're not even asking you to make a donation. Instead, they're recruiting companies to offer (RED) products and (RED) services that consumers will buy instead of equivalent non-red items. In this case, you get the iPod nano music player you want anyway. Plus, you're doing a good thing for humanity. A REALLY good thing.
Make no mistake about it, AIDS is a global epidemic and nowhere is it decimating the fabric of society more than in Africa. The term decimate is too conservative to describe the percentage of the population living with HIV/AIDS in the southern countries of Africa. South Africa has a rate of over 18%, in excess of 5 million people. In Botswana the infection rate is over 24%.
Shocked? Incredibly, in the 21st century we have a fatal disease running rampant that rivals the plagues of the Middle Ages. How can this be? A thousand years of science and we're no better off than in the Dark Ages? Actually, it's not the science that has failed us. It's human ignorance and unwillingness to provide the massive resources needed to effectively fight this epidemic. No, there isn't a cure yet, but fantastic strides have been made in the decades since HIV/AIDS first appeared. Effective treatments are available, but they're expensive. In the advanced countries we've managed to get the disease under control. But it's destroying the continent of Africa at rate that's hard to fathom.
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was formed in 2002 to finance treatment for all three of these diseases. As a group these 3 major diseases kill 6 million people per year, a number that's still growing. To date $5.3 billion has been provided for health programs in 131 countries. Governments, organizations and private sector business all contribute to the fund.
Rock Star Bono, lead singer of Irish band U2, is the genius behind the (Product) Red Campaign. The (RED) products and services are a new initiative to create further awareness of Global Fund's initiatives and give consumers an easy and compelling way to join the fight. (RED) products and (RED) services are showing up in stores and online. You'll see them labeled as (Product) Red or (RED) and often glowing in unmistakable brilliant red packaging.
The (Product) Red iPod nano is a special edition of the 4 GB iPod nano in a bright red case. It features a slim package, bright color display, up to 24 hours of battery life, and storage for up to 1,000 songs, podcasts, audiobooks, photos, and even data. It's the same design as any other 4 GB iPod nano, but only available from Apple and Apple Stores in this special edition (RED) version. It's a music player, humanitarian contribution, political statement, and perhaps collector's item all in one.