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Monday, March 19, 2007

(PRODUCT) RED

It seems like everyone is getting in on (PRODUCT) RED. Basically the idea is that companies produce special red products (cell phones, ipods, credit cards, shoes, etc), consumers by these red products, and the companies give a portion of the proceeds to The Global Fund: To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

AIDS/HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria are serious problems. By virtue of Our Lord's commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" we should be concerned with the plight of people suffering from these diseases and should seek ways to help.

However, I've been wary of this whole thing since the media campaign has started. It seems like I don't watch TV without seeing a commercial for some red cell phone or other gadget encouraging me to buy one to support the fight against AIDS/HIV. Every time I see one of these ads I wonder about whether these funds are being used to purchase and distribute condoms.

So tonight I did some digging.

On the Global Fund web page I went to the Funded Programs section and did a search for "condom". Here's some of what I found.

Grant in Detail: Sudan
Total Funding Request: $20,682,531.00
Total Funds Disbursed: $7,521,371.00

Main Activities:
4. Train trainers, service providers and community extentionsts in IEC and condom distribution practice

Objective 2
To increase accessibility to HIV/AIDS/STIs quality services ( e. g. safe blood transfusion, VCT, condom distribution and STIs management )

Global Fund Suspends Grants in Uganda
In the interim period, the Global Fund will work with the Principal Recipient to identify the elements of funded programs involving life-saving treatment to ensure that funding continues to reach those activities. All necessary measures will be taken to ensure that life-saving treatment as well as prevention activities such as condom procurement and distribution financed by the Global Fund will not be disrupted during this period. A team from the Global Fund is ready to travel to Uganda to assist the Principal Recipient in this task.

Obviously we can all help immediately through our prayers. But, what about those of us who find ourselves in a moral dilemma due to the fact that purchasing (PRODUCT) RED products will provide funding for the promotion of condom usage. We can't condone one evil (artificial birth control) to fight another evil (AIDS/HIV).

Does anyone know of any good charities that use their funds to promote abstinence/chastity instead of condoms as a means to control AIDS/STD? I'm honestly not in a position to do much financially at the moment (college debt on a first job out of college, entry level position salary is not fun!) to do much but I hope that I can contribute once my employment (and income) situation improves. For now, I guess prayers are in order that the tide will turn in the fight against AIDS/HIV and other STDs in that more people will see the virtue of abstinence and chastity.

3 comments:

Mark said...

Drat! And there's me with my shiny new RED iPod... :(

Chris said...

Don't beat yourself up about it. You didn't know. It's not like they blatently advertise the fact.

Mark said...

No; you're quite right. I thought I was doing a good thing after all. :)