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One Year of COVID-19

March 11, 2021

One year ago today, COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO. Cities and towns shut down, homes became classrooms and offices, and the world began adjusting to a new order.

One year ago today, it was becoming increasingly evident that this new pandemic would jeopardize years of progress made in the AIDS fight by compromising life-saving programs and the people they serve.

(RED) has its name because it is the color of emergency. Though (RED) was founded to raise money and awareness for the fight to end AIDS, it was also built for moments like this. As COVID-19 began to make its way around the globe, (RED)’s commitment to fighting global health emergencies grew stronger than ever.

It’s been a year, but COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, disproportionately harming the communities most in need, including those living with HIV. The continuously high COVID-19 infection and mortality rates are only the tip of the iceberg. AIDS-related deaths could double this year as treatment and prevention programs are disrupted, community and health systems are overwhelmed and resources are diverted from existing programs to fight COVID-19. Women & girls continue to bear the greatest burden of pandemics, with national lockdowns increasing their risk of gender-based violence and limiting their ability to access education and health services. Now more than ever, it’s clear that ending pandemics like AIDS and COVID-19 require strong health systems and equal access to healthcare for all. 

In April 2020, (RED) and its partners mobilized to generate funding and awareness to support COVID efforts, generating nearly $14 million to date for the Global Fund COVID-19 Response, to help strengthen health systems and protect life-saving programs. This money is being put to work directly on the ground, providing PPE and other health and medical equipment for health workers, strengthening community-based screening and contact tracing, and scaling up HIV treatment delivery and testing to local communities. 

Despite the extraordinary progress made in the fights against AIDS & COVID-19, they are both far from over. We know that we cannot win the fight against one pandemic without combatting the other, and in the year ahead (RED) and its partners will continue to step up and support these fights because none of us are safe until all of us are safe. Join us!