Two groundbreaking initiatives, aimed at realistically achieving the once-unthinkable goal of ending new HIV infections among children by the end of 2015, were launched simultaneously at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Conference (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland yesterday.
The Business Leadership Council for a Generation Born HIV Free was launched together with a Social Media Syndicate that is designed to reach billions of people around the world, getting them to join in action to take the number of HIV-infected births from 390,000 a year to zero within 48 months, making it the world’s largest social media movement of its kind. The Syndicate will evolve to focus on other UN Health Millennium Development Goals over the coming months.
Health experts agree that eliminating HIV infections among newborn babies is fully achievable by the end of 2015, but doing so will require a joint effort of the private and public sectors. Financial experts increasingly recognize the high return and cost-effectiveness of investing in disease prevention.
“The private sector is playing a key role in improving health and well-being around the world through its strong engagement in the Every Woman Every Child movement,” said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “Innovative partnerships are critical to meeting our goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children by the end of 2015.”
The Business Leadership Council has enlisted leading executives to bring the knowledge, finances and commitment of the private sector together with government efforts, and is part of the Global Steering Group led by Michel Sidibe, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Ambassador Eric Goosby, United States Global AIDS Coordinator.
The Social Media Syndicate will coordinate the most influential individual publishers to generate a mass social mobilization and be led by Randi Zuckerberg, founder of R to Z Studios and former marketing director at Facebook. The syndicate expands on a model that was used successfully to help raise $200 million to fight malaria.
“We have all seen how organizing through the social web can change the world. Now with the Social Media Syndicate, we can unleash that power to achieve ambitious goals to improve people’s health around the globe,” said Ms. Zuckerberg. “As a mother myself, I know everyone with children can agree that no child should be born with HIV.”
To mark the launch at WEF, the Social Media Syndicate simultaneously broadcast its first social message through Twitter, Facebook and other social media about ending HIV transmission to children, and it is expected to generate more than 100 million impressions.
Sources: WEF and Business Leadership Council
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