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Global Fund's Born HIV Free campaign completed

04 October 2010

700,000 sign up and 20 million engage

Geneva/New York, 4 October - The Born HIV Free campaign reached a symbolic completion today in New York with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receiving a book containing some of the 700,000 names of people who signed up in support of the Global Fund. The names, gathered from the campaign website, YouTube, and through advocacy partners like Avaaz, ONE and the Global Fund Board Communities delegation form part of a call for sufficient funds to be made available to achieve the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.

Since its launch in May 2010, the innovative campaign has sought to attract broad public awareness and support for the remarkable progress already made and the entirely realistic breakthroughs that can now be made in international health by 2015 with a properly supported Global Fund.

The results of the campaign, which included more than 20 million respondents and 250 million viewers, were unveiled to delegates and honored guests of the Global Fund Replenishment Conference, on the eve of donors pledging their contributions to the Global Fund for the next three years (2011-2013).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is the chair of the Global Fund’s Replenishment Conference being held in New York on 5 October.

“The elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV is critical if we are to achieve the health Millennium Development Goals,” said Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “The Born HIV Free campaign has helped to build momentum, raise awareness, and mobilize public support on this critical aspect of the response to AIDS”.

The number of people who signed up in support of Born HIV Free received a tremendous boost from the campaign and advocacy organizations ONE and Avaaz. ONE’s ‘Baby Protest – No Child Born with HIV by 2015’ gathered signatures in a call on leaders to invest in the Global Fund. Avaaz, a global online advocacy community, rallied people in support of the campaign with an online petition, ‘Let's get to 250,000 voices for maternal and child health!’

Initiated and supported by the Global Fund’s Ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the campaign intended to show donor governments that even during difficult financial times, citizens continue to support their countries’ contributions to the Global Fund.

“I am very proud of the response to the campaign, based on a concept by producer Julien Civange, which brought together such a wide range of artists to raise awareness and build support for the Global Fund,” said Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy.

“Born HIV Free is proof that with the commitment of millions of people who care, and the financial support of countries around the world, we can put an end to the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of children born with HIV every year. We have the means and the expertise to prevent this from happening,” Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy said. “The results are a testament to a global aspiration and the beginning of a movement - of a promise - to stop the transmission of HIV from mothers to children”.

The Born HIV Free campaign enjoyed widespread exposure and engagement that was greatly helped by the support of partners and artists such as Amy Winehouse, Sir Paul McCartney, Jean Paul Gaultier, Tiffany & Co, JCDecaux, Bono, YouTube, Google, Orange, and ELLE magazine.

The Global Fund campaign formally closes 5 October 2010.