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As a rock and roll star, Bono has written some of the most important music of our time, and now, the U2 front man has been asked by ELLE Magazine to turn a page (RED) and address “the greatest health crisis in 600 years: HIV/AIDS.”

In his one page letter, which appears in this month’s edition, Bono shares startling statistics on HIV/AIDS, including the fact that 90% of new cases occur in females aged 15-24. “I can’t get my head around that fact, let alone get it out of my head” he writes. Bono also shares details of his journey to Africa six years ago, where he witnessed the devastating effect the disease has had on the communities, including “orphans raising orphans.”

Bono also writes about the importance of (RED), its products and the pure power of consumer activism. “They have power in their pockets,” he writes, “(RED) raises money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS—$120 million so far. That is enough to buy drugs for more than 750,000 people for a year. (RED) funds prevention and counseling programs as well as treatment, and is now the thirteenth biggest contributor to the Global Fund; it’s giving more than many countries.”

“There are the millions of men and women whose names we don’t know, but whose (RED) purchases are doing nothing less than keeping people alive,” he continues, “(RED) is not asking you to flock to the stores for the sake of it, but if you find yourselves browsing, we are asking you to choose (RED) where you can—for the sake of those who can’t ask you themselves.”

Other celebrities involved with (RED) include: Scarlett Johansson, Gisele Bundchen, Christy Turlington, Penelope Cruz, Julia Roberts, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner, Kanye West, Djimon Hounsou, Chris Rock and Steven Spielberg among others

Bono’s complete (RED) letter can be read here.

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