In 2006, I traveled to Africa on a trip I will never forget. I was taken as part of the Dance For Life initiative, and the aim was to provide an education on the devastating effects of AIDS while learning about the many programs underway to help end this terrible disease. We visited an orphanage and met people living with HIV and AIDS. We also saw progress being made on a number of projects. Since that visit, a lot has been achieved. However, despite AIDS being preventable and treatable, 900 babies are still born with HIV every day. That's 900 more than should be. It costs just 40 cents a day to treat mothers in Sub-Saharan Africa -- the pills ensure that HIV will not turn into AIDS, but they also prevent the transmission of HIV to their unborn children. Just 40 cents and two pills! So, when I got together with the team at (RED) and they shared with me their mission to help the global health community deliver an AIDS Free Generation by 2015, there was only one way to go. We had to collaborate on something super special. Something big enough and loud enough to make the world jump up and take notice.
Making the world dance and save lives.
In the years I've been DJing, I've been extremely lucky to have the support of millions of fans along the way. Dance music fans are a passionate bunch -- the whole scene has expanded so rapidly and we are now a huge global community of dance music lovers. Week in, week out, I see and feel their passion and energy at clubs, festivals and events in countries around the world. So together with (RED), we looked long and hard at what we could do to mobilize music fans and channel their energy into action; action to raise awareness of AIDS, and raise funds to fight its end. We wanted a collaboration which would bring together the community in a way which is new, engaging and exciting. But this is not a solo mission. We wanted an idea which would excite my friends in the dance world so they, too, would get on board and support this great cause. So, we're marking this coming World AIDS Day in a couple of ways.
The first is an exclusive compilation album named after exactly what we want to the world to do -- DANCE (RED), SAVE LIVES. It's an awesome collection of names from the world of dance coming together on one album. And I got to work with a musical hero of mine, Bono, on a version of U2's "Pride." The proceeds are going to fight AIDS through the work of the Global Fund. Then, on December 1st and 2nd -- the Worlds AIDS Day weekend -- we'll be livestreaming sets from the Stereosonic Festival in Melbourne. So it's not just the 50,000 screaming fans in Melbourne who'll be dancing to help deliver an AIDS Free Generation, it'll be people all around the world. I hope you'll join me, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Diplo, Laidback Luke, Martin Solveig and a big gang of other DJs as we turn the world (RED) and fight to begin the end of AIDS.
This blog post was produced by The Huffington Post and (RED) as part of a series recognizing World AIDS Day, which is December 1. Click here to see other posts in the series and here to see content from "The Big Push" (the initiative by the Global Fund, the recipient of (RED) monies, to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). For more information about how you can get involved on World AIDS Day, please go to www.joinred.com/