First, RED’s focus on ARV therapy is ineffective because it allows RED to overlook the more successful prevention treatments that exist to combat the AIDs epidemic. UNAIDs has consistently ranked combination-prevention treatments as a successful venue of stopping the spread of HIV in Africa. These treatments combine biomedical, behavioral, and societal prevention methods to limit the spread of AIDs (“Combination HIV Prevention,” 2010, “The Case for Combination Prevention,” para. 1). A current combination-prevention is PEPFAR, which was started in 2003 under President Bush. PEPFAR is the cornerstone of the Global Health Initiative, which focuses on gender equality and mother-child prevention in sub-Saharan Africa – goals similar to those of the RED initiative (“PEPFAR, n.d, “Targets and Achievements,” par...
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...mpaign from effectively treating AIDs through ARV treatment alone.
Although antiretroviral therapy for AIDs victims is undoubtedly important, Product RED is not the appropriate organization to provide these drugs. Not only is RED unable to provide sustainable ARV therapy for African AIDs victims, but RED’s singular focus on ARV drugs also causes significant collateral damages. RED chooses to focus on ARVs not because they believe the drugs are effective, but rather because RED can easily exaggerate the impact of ARVs to western consumers. When Bono states that RED products save the lives of African victims by providing them with ARV drugs, he is grossly misrepresenting the seriousness and scale of the African AIDs epidemic to help his participating companies profit. RED’s focus on antiretroviral therapy is a matter of ease and marketing, not effective philanthropy.
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