Bono Announces the Beginning of the End of AIDS

Bono finally made an appearance on the Daily Show, but it wasn’t to talk about the Achtung Baby rerelease. For World AIDS Day this year, we couldn’t turn on our television without seeing Bono on a variety of programs, on just about every channel. Collaborating with celebrities, corporate leaders, and the last three US presidents under the umbrellas of the ONE and (Red) campaigns, Bono announced what he’s calling the beginning of the end of AIDS.

Bono explained the moment to CNN, “Thirty years, 30 million funerals later, on the 30th anniversary, we just have the end in sight if people – if people want to go next leg.”

The singer-activist celebrated what he sees as the United States’ role in ushering us closer to an AIDS-free generation. He remarked, “The United States has saved five million lives by getting them these drugs that were once thought impossible to get to rural areas in far-away places.”

And he recognized that the roots of AIDS activism began here decades ago: “And it’s worth, on World AIDS Day, to remember heroes of the domestic AIDS fights. You know, from – both from the gay community and the straight community, from regular folks to people like sports stars like Magic Johnson. Where would we be without Magic Johnson?”

Any mention of U2 on this day only touched on how our fan community has been outspoken and integral to the overlapping movements to end poverty and disease.

As he has done since the 1990s when he got involved in the Jubilee 2000 efforts, Bono connected his activism to themes central to his spirituality, to how he was willing to reach out to conservatives like George Bush:

“Christ only speaks of judgment once and it is not about your sexuality, it is not about your bad behavior.  It’s about how you treat the poor, Matthew: 25.  I spoke to him [Bush] and as a person of faith – it might be a bad example of it – to him who was a believer and he was moved by that because we’re so judgmental. This is what happens. This started in the United States in the gay community. People didn’t want to go there, and the gay community had to be bold and they showed incredible leadership and said this is not just about us, you know.”

Quotes from CNN.com. Photos from various newswires. Please check out joinred.com and one.org for more information.