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Bono says the world is turning away from the fight against AIDS “at the dumbest moment ever”

By | Published on Tuesday 6 November 2018


Bono has said that just as the world is on the verge of overcoming the AIDS crisis, its attention has started to turn away from it. This is in no small part thanks to Donald Trump. Although the U2 frontman has also thanked members of US Congress for their “leadership” in ignoring their President’s attempts to slash funding for AIDS programmes.

“We could be at the dumbest moment ever, which is [that] we’re almost at the moon and we turn back”, Bono told the Associated Press, when talking about current progress in the fight against AIDS.

There has been, he added, “incredible leadership from around the world” that has made the complete eradication of the disease a possibility. However, despite “this gathering consensus and momentum”, he says, “now people are looking the other way and it’s just the wrong moment”.

To help efforts to try and turn things around, Bono’s Red charity is organising another fund-raising auction, the third in its twelve year history. The first such auction since 2013, the previous two events have raised $68 million for the organisation.

But while funds are necessary, says the musician, the real aim is to make “something popular [that] makes the politicians have to pay attention … whilst the world is looking the other way in this rather childish fight among strongmen across the world”.

The auction is being fronted by architects Theaster Gates and David Adjaye, who have helped to bring together a range of artists, designers and other creators who are donating original work for the sale. Among them are Jeff Koons, Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson and Marilyn Minter.

“This is a dangerous time because people think AIDS isn’t a threat anymore”, comments Gates in a statement. “We have to keep the pressure on and get new generations involved at home if we’re going to put an end to AIDS once and for all”.

Annual HIV infections have nearly halved since 1996 and AIDS-related deaths have more than halved since their peak in 2004. However, there are still 1.8 million people newly diagnosed as HIV positive each year, with infections among women on the rise, and 37 million people are living with the virus.

The auction will take place in Miami on 5 Dec. More information here.