On World AIDS Day, December 1, Apple took the opportunity to highlight its (RED) products, curated to contribute to the Global Fund that provides access to healthcare services to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Apple and RED are committed to fighting AIDS and the stigma surrounding the disease.
The Global Fund provides access to treatment services, as well as access to prevention techniques, testing and education. Over the years, Apple-supported grants have helped enrich the lives of millions living with HIV. All the companies owned by Apple come together for this noble initiative.
Apple and RED: Driving Change
Every Apple (RED) product purchase contributes to the Global Fund war chest against AIDS and Covid-19. Apple’s website revealed, “The Global Fund uses 100% of Apple’s contribution to finance HIV/AIDS programs and to reduce the impact of COVID‑19 on these programs.” The fund focuses on improving the lives of communities affected by AIDS across sub-Saharan Africa.
For the past 15 years, Apple has raised around $270 million through sale of its (RED) products and accessories for the Global Fund.
For the iPhone, Apple RED debuted iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone SE, and iPhone 12 in red. Silicone cases for these phones are also available in RED. Apple watch straps (Apple Watch Sport Loop, Sport Band, and Braided Solo Loop bands) in RED are also available. By using your iPhone, you can also download seven Apple Watch faces to match the Apple (RED) strap.
The company wrote in a statement, “With COVID threatening to undo the progress made to date in the AIDS fight, Apple has been engaging its customers in the fight against both pandemics year round and during key moments through the App Store, Apple Pay integrations, and employee engagement.”
Earlier in January, the tech giant had announced that it would share half the proceeds from the Apple and RED campaign for the whole year with the fund until December 31, 2022.
Since 2006, Apple grants have helped provide care and support services for over 11 million people and distribute over 197 million HIV tests. This has been instrumental in preventing the transmission of the virus from mothers to babies. Around five million HIV –positive mothers have benefited from Apple grants.
In honor of World AIDS Day, Apple and RED are offering their customers a chance to reach out to others through the fund. “On the App Store, customers can learn more about Preppy+, an app that helps people affected by HIV by making it easier to track PrEP (or pre-exposure prophylaxis) and maintain full and happy relationships,” read a statement by the company.
HIV Awareness and Stigma
Stigma refers to negative attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs about something. Stigma related to HIV affects the mental health of patients and those around them.
According to a CDC study, almost 8 in 10 adults with HIV receiving HIV medical care in the United States report feeling internalized HIV-related stigma. Internalized stigma can lead to depression, isolation, and feelings of shame, and can affect individuals’ ability to stay adherent to their HIV medication.
To combat these prejudices, Apple Books is featuring a curated list of fiction and non-fiction books, along with audio books, about the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, Apple TV used to have a Watch Now tab that shines a light on the human cost of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Talking about HIV opens helps reduce the stigma around it. There are still misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted and what it means to live with it. Further, some people think that HIV is a disease that only a certain group of people get.
HIV can be transmitted through exchange of bodily fluids, including blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal secretions. The disease is only spread through a direct exchange of bodily fluids. It does not spread through handshakes, sharing the same common rooms, or through saliva, tears, and sweat.
In a bid to reduce stigma and better help integrate HIV-positive people into society, last year, the App Store highlighted Positive Singles, an inclusive dating app. The application connects singles living with HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. It also provides helpful information for those who have been recently diagnosed.
With the Apple and RED campaign, the company aims to remove the stigma and promote health for everyone.
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