Just 15 years ago, 1,500 women a day were passing HIV on to their babies. Today, that number is 400. Bank of America has teamed up with (RED) and the Global Fund to help reduce the number of new infections to closer to zero.
Funds contributed by the bank help provide free lifesaving antiretroviral medication to mothers to help ensure they deliver healthy, HIV-free babies. Mothers like Connie Mudenda from Zambia and children like Connie’s daughter Lubona, who with each new birthday, reminds us that the first AIDS-free generation in decades is close at hand.
As part of Bank of America’s seven-year, $20 million commitment to (RED)’s fight against AIDS, we began detailing Connie’s story through a series of online films and photography. The goal was to put a face on mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Africa, to make what is still a global health crisis personal and relatable.
Tragically, Connie lost three children to HIV/AIDS before knowing she was also infected. After being diagnosed, she started lifesaving ARV medication therapy, allowing her to give birth to healthy, HIV-negative Lubona in 2012.
In the latest chapter of Connie’s story, “Lubona’s Wish”, Connie and her daughter celebrated Lubona’s fifth birthday in New York City, where Connie was visiting in her role as a spokeswoman for (RED). Lubona is living proof that the partnership between (RED) and Bank of America is saving lives. People can now follow Connie’s full story online at bankofamerica.com/connie and navigate through the site to learn more about Bank of America’s commitment to (RED).