World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is here and our hearts go out to all the people around the world suffering from this sickness. While millions of people around the world are dying, and many more millions choose to ignore the plight of these patients, on this World AIDS Day, we have a list of 8 amazing celebrity run AIDS foundations that you ought to know more about!
Celebrity Run AIDS Foundations
1. Elton John AIDS Foundation
World AIDS Day, would not be complete without the mention of The Elton John AIDS Foundation. This foundation is perhaps the most popular celebrity run AIDS foundation across the globe. With many more celebrities like James Blunt, Gary Barlow, Emma Thompson, George Michael and David Williams acting as patrons to the foundation, it has been able to reach out to over 4.5 million people since 2010!
Ryan White, a close friend of Elton John, is the inspiration behind the foundation. Ryan lost his life in the year 1990 after he was infected by the virus via a blood transfusion. Apart from this, it is also said that the death of the great Freddie Mercury played an important role in the founding of this organization.
2. Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates once said, “Whatever the conditions of people’s lives, wherever they live, however they live, we all share the same dreams.”
Both Melinda and Bill Gates began this organization to improve the lives of people around the globe. They believe in the quality of living as well as quantity. Apart from working with people fighting against AIDS/HIV, the organization also fights against poverty, global health and global development on the whole.
3. Product RED
In the year 2006, Bono (the lead vocalist of the band U2) and Bobby Shriver (an activist), joined forces when they saw what the world could be like if it was AIDS free. Ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for both men. Since Product RED has started, the organization has managed to raise $365 million with the help of their many partners.
To support RED, one must keep in mind that 50% of the profits from the sale of RED products, goes towards the Global Fund directly. This fund is used to finance HIV/AIDS programs, which in turn helps a person affected by the virus.
A few partner companies are The Coca-Cola Company, Apple Inc., Beats Electronics and Converse.
4. SING Campaign
2003 was a turning point for singer Annie Lennox. When she heard Nelson Mandela talk about how AIDS was the cause of the death of many African women and children, she decided that it was her turn to do all she could for the victims of AIDS/HIV.
SING began as an initiative to help victims of HIV/AIDS through funds and spreading awareness. Annie wrote a song on HIV and invited over 23 other female artists to record their voices on SING, in order to raise funds for the campaign.
The name SING was an inspiration from the message delivered by Nelson Mandela where he said, “Let us use the universal language of music, to sing out our message around the world”.
5. Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation
Elizabeth Taylor, a legendary actress, founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991 in order to support organizations dealing directly with the health care and comfort of people suffering from AIDS/HIV. Unfortunately, Ms. Taylor passed away in the year 2011, at 79 years old.
Even after her death, Elizabeth Taylor still lives on in the form of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, where all operating costs are funded through Ms. Taylor’s Trust fund. This ensures that 100% of every dollar goes directly to helping people affected by HIV/AIDS.
In honor of all her hard work and efforts made throughout her life, she was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.
6. DIVA Foundation
Sheryl Lee Ralph, the original DREAMGIRL, founded the DIVA foundation in the year 1990, as a tribute to the many friends she lost to HIV/AIDS. DIVA stands for Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware, an appropriate name given by the founder. The foundation aims at creating awareness and generating resources and fighting the virus HIV/AIDS., through music and entertainment.
The campaign includes meetings, prevention seminars, free HIV testing, counseling, healthcare materials, and the annual DIVAS Simply Singing! benefit concert. The 25th Annual ‘DIVAs Simply Singing!’ was held on October 24th, 2016.
7. Keep A Child Alive
Although the Keep A Child Alive organization was not Alicia Keys’ idea, she does play a very important role as the Co-Founder of the organization. It was through her funding, alongside Peter Edge, which brought the organization to life. The organization has been successfully running for over 13 years now, and has been helping children and families around the world, especially in Africa, fight AIDS, and give them emotional and physical support.
As we all know she has been one to promote well-being, equality and freedom in her songs and in her life!
Although YouthAIDS is founded and run by Kate Roberts, a human right advocate and humanitarian, the organization has many celebrities who act as its Global Ambassadors.
Josh Lucas, Salma Hayek, Emmy Rossum, Anna Kournikova and Ludacris are ambassadors at this organization but, Ashley Judd (most known for her role as Libby in the movie Double Jeopardy) is the most well-known global ambassador of YouthAIDS.
YouthAIDS reaches out to over 600 million youth all across the globe. It aims at raising awareness and increasing opportunities for humanitarian services on a global scale.
Celebrities Who Passed Away Due To HIV/AIDS
While there are many celebrities working towards raising awareness and helping people affected by AIDS, there are many other celebrities, among the millions of people, who have fallen due to this illness. This World AIDS Day we pay tribute to those great people who we have lost due to this virus.
1. Freddie Mercury (1946-1991)
Freddie Mercury was the lead vocalist of the legendary rock band Queen. It wasn’t until the day before his death that he acknowledged the presence of the virus.
2. Anthony Perkins (1932-1992)
The Golden Globe New Star of the Year Award Winner said, “There are many who believe that this disease is God’s vengeance,” Perkins said in a statement before his passing, “but I believe it was sent to teach people how to love and understand and have compassion for each other.”. Anthony Perkins died of Pneumonia caused by AIDS.
3. Eazy-E (1963-1995)
Only months before his passing was The “Godfather of Gangsta Rap” diagnosed with AIDS. He took this as an opportunity to spread awareness on the virus. This was done with hopes of saving many others who might get affected by it.
4. Gia Carangi (1960-1986)
Gia, many believe, was the first model to be considered as a supermodel. She was featured on many magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan and many editions of Vogue. Gia also featured in many advertising campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Versace and Armani.
This year will be the 28th Annual World AIDS Day. Let’s make it a point to help make the world a better place by helping those people with AIDS. You do not need to contribute but, only help spread awareness. Let us also learn not to judge those affected, instead show them what humanity is all about!