Coke Partners With The Global Fund in AIDS Fight

By Jennifer Booton Features FOXBusiness

A child flies a kite with a red ribbon during a World AIDS Day event in Beijing November 30, 2008. There are about 700,000 cases of HIV/AIDS in China, according to official statistics. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA) (Reuters )

Coca-Cola (KO) is joining the red-ribbon fight, dedicating more than $5 million over the next four years to help raise awareness and money to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.

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The beverage giant is partnering with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS as part of a broader effort to virtually eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015, the company said on Thursday.

Coke’s commitment will fund marketing awareness campaigns through global Coca-Cola music initiatives, and $3 million will be donated directly to The Global Fund to purchase anti-retroviral medicine and distribute literature to educate infected parents.

“It’s encouraging to think that we could witness an AIDS-free generation during our lifetime,” said Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, who noted the company is “proud to help this effort.”

The Atlanta-based company employs nearly 70,000 people in Africa, home to more than 60% of the world’s HIV-infected population.

Both Coca-Cola and The Global Fund already have a partnership in Africa. The nonprofit uses the commercial giant’s supply chain and route-to-market system to help improve access to critical medicines.