AIDS Day Paints the World (RED)

(RED) is turning the virtual and physical world red today for World AIDS Day. The effort is part of a new public awareness campaign about eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and generating support for the goal of an AIDS-free generation by 2015.

The campaign, “The AIDS Free Generation Is Due in 2015,” kicked off yesterday evening with (RED) co-founder Bono turning the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge red, the first of more than 80 landmarks in 13 countries that will take part, including the London Eye, the Empire State Building and Los Angeles International Airport.

Online, the campaign asks supporters to use social media to spread the message, with activity on Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Flickr, Eventful, Meetup and YouTube. For example, on Facebook, participants can turn their profile pictures to a 2015 (RED) image to show their support, or earn a (RED) badge on foursquare with a #turnRED shout with check-in and broadcast on Twitter.

The real-world and online activity is being tracked at Joinred.com, where visitors can help turn a map of the world red. The more action taking place in a time zone, the deeper the color becomes. The site uses a data-visualization platform, SwiftRiver, from open-source tech company Ushahidi in Kenya.

“We have a very clear, hopeful message, the AIDS-free generation is due in 2015,” said Chrysi Philalithes, director of digital strategy and marketing at (RED). “If we continue with the same level of support and funding, we can create the reality where the mother-to-child transmission of HIV is eliminated by 2015.”

“Foursquare has the power to bring visibility to important causes,” added Dennis Crowley, co-founder and CEO of foursquare. “We’re honored that (RED) invited us to partner with them to help spread awareness for World AIDS Day and build a healthier future.”

In addition, MTV is turning its logo red, Starbucks is donating money for every view of an exclusive video by the Killers, and Nike is expanding its “Write the Future” campaign with an #EndAIDS push on Twitter.

The campaign also includes print and outdoor media featuring artist interpretations of the 2015 message.