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"Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS" Global Fund and partners unveil new fundraising and awareness initiative

14 August 2006

Toronto, Canada - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today unveiled a new initiative to raise awareness about AIDS and raise additional funds.

"Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS" is a global communications campaign to engage citizens, corporations and civil society in taking action to support the fight against AIDS and spread the message that this pandemic can be overcome. The message of hope will travel through a number of communications channels, including postage and metered mail, packages, text messages, web and traditional media.

"Years of grim facts about the global AIDS pandemic have led to growing fatalism and apathy among many people," said Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. "We want to spread the message that we can turn this pandemic around. We have seen how the programs we support already have achieved great results. This is a fight we can win."

"The fight against AIDS requires the active participation of people in every walk of life and across every continent. For many people it is difficult, however, to find an easy and meaningful way in which to contribute to this fight," said Carol Jacobs, the Chair of the Global Fund Board. "Hope Spreads" will provide millions of people with a simple way to support the fight and in the process will drive traffic to websites and media where more detailed information is available."

Today's announcement includes the first three elements of the campaign: "Hope Spreads" postage; "Hope Spreads" metered mail; and the "Map of Hope" web feature.

This initial phase of the campaign provides a unique opportunity for everyone from individuals and small organizations to multinational corporations to contribute to the work of the Global Fund.

"Hope Spreads" postage is now available for purchase in the U.S. through the website www.jointheglobalfund.org, metered mail will be available on 1 September 2006, and the "Map of Hope" will go live on 1 October 2006 . The U.S. will be the initial market and the campaign will be rolled out in the other major markets in 2007. Over 25 percent of the postage purchase price and 90 percent of the metered mail usage fee will be contributed to the global fight against AIDS.

Publicis New York developed the design concept for the postage and metered mail and will be supporting the campaign through print and outdoor advertising to be launched later this year.

"Publicis has been a proud supporter of the Global Fund since it was founded in 2002," said Gill Duff, President & CEO, Publicis New York. "Our New York team aimed to bring this important and stigmatized issue to the forefront with graphically beautiful imagery."

The campaign also includes an opportunity for individuals to express personal support for the Global Fund through mapping technology provided by Google Maps. By registering their zip code on www.jointheglobalfund.org, individuals all over the world will help to build a virtual map of support for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

As the U.S. cable TV partner for the Global Fund, VH1 will be supporting the "Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS" message by airing HIV/AIDS-related programming and public service announcements, to raise public awareness of both the campaign and the Global Fund. Former basketball star and sports show host John Salley is the spokesperson for the VH1/Global Fund "Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS" campaign.

"As a media organization, we think it is very important, to continue to support initiatives such as this," said Laura Nelson, Head of Public Relations at VH1. "We at VH1 are committed to using our resources to promote this cause through all our on-air and online platforms. We will continue to find new ways to creatively keep the message about HIV/AIDS out there to engage the public."

"The Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS" initiative unifies individual action with corporate support, enabling anyone to take a simple action in support of the Global Fund and the fight against AIDS," said Natasha Bilimoria, Executive Director of Friends of the Global Fight, a Washington D.C.-based organization that works to educate and mobilize Americans in the fight to end AIDS, TB and malaria. "We get asked every day how businesses and individuals can directly support the Global Fund. With this initiative, we have an answer."

"Fighting a disease that kills three million people annually is not something that can be done by one single entity, individual or government. It must be a collective effort, which is why this initiative is so important," said Nafis Sadik, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa and Board Member of the United Nations Foundation. "This initiative allows everyone to become part of the solution by simply putting a stamp on an envelope. By taking this action, we can change and possibly save millions of lives."

The United Nations Foundation has been a key partner in developing the "Hope Spreads" initiative and is the Global Fund's central partner for grassroots fundraising in the U.S.

The Global Fund needs additional resources to extend its successful programs and to launch new grants. This scale-up is essential if the goal of universal access to prevention and treatment by 2010 is to be met. The Global Fund is seeking an additional US$ 1.8 billion for 2006-2007 in order to fully finance existing and new programs.

The Global Fund's "Hope Spreads Faster than AIDS" campaign has been made possible with support from BoozAllenHamilton, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Endicia Internet Postage, Friends of the Global Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Getty Images, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, GPA Paper, hp, the MAC AIDS Fund, Pitney Bowes, Publicis Group, United Nations Foundation and VH1 Cable Network.

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