Brides against breast cancer initiative makes weddings even more special

The campaign will be donating $100,000 worth of designer wedding dresses throughout the month. (Shutterstock)
Updated 22 October 2017
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Brides against breast cancer initiative makes weddings even more special

LONDON: As the beauty and fashion industry lead the pink charge for this year’s breast cancer awareness month, one US-based social enterprise has proven that not everything needs to change color to generate awareness.
This month Brides Against Breast Cancer (BABC) is donating 200 designer wedding dresses to brides in need.
The dresses – which usually sell for up to $2,000 – can be selected from the BABC online store after the bride-to-be has shared their story of why they need the help.
The only cost to the brides is the price of packaging and shipping. The campaign will be donating $100,000 worth of designer wedding dresses throughout the month.
BABC operates as an online store throughout the year, with a flagship retail shop based in Atlanta and national dress tour events around the country to generate funds from sales for breast cancer research.
The designer wedding dresses sold by BABC are donated by brides and bridal salons nationwide. The brands include Maggie Sottero, Casablanca and Vera Wang.
The designer wedding dresses sell for between $99 – $1,999 – or up to 80 percent off retail.
Since 1997, BABC has helped raise millions of dollars for breast cancer initiatives through the sale of more than 50,000 wedding dresses.
BABC’S CEO Drew Edwards said in a press statement: “We are pleased to help women in financial need for their wedding day while also raising awareness of breast cancer.”
Breast cancer awareness month is a global health movement that has grown to become one of the most highly anticipated annual events internationally.
The annual campaign aims to raise awareness of early breast cancer detection as well as to fundraise for essential life-saving research into the disease.


UN: Global fight against AIDS is at ‘precarious point’

Updated 18 July 2018
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UN: Global fight against AIDS is at ‘precarious point’

  • ‘There are miles to go in the journey to end the AIDS epidemic. Time is running out’
  • Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 77 million people have become infected with HIV

LONDON: Complacency is starting to stall the fight against the global AIDS epidemic, with the pace of progress not matching what is needed, the United Nations warned on Wednesday.
The United Nations’ HIV/AIDS body UNAIDS said in an update report that the fight was at a “precarious point” and while deaths were falling and treatment rates rising, rates of new HIV infections threatened to derail efforts to defeat the disease.
“The world is slipping off track. The promises made to society’s most vulnerable individuals are not being kept,” the report said. “There are miles to go in the journey to end the AIDS epidemic. Time is running out.”
Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, noted in the report’s foreword that there had been great progress in reducing deaths from AIDS and in getting a record number of people worldwide into treatment with antiretroviral drugs.
The report said an estimated 21.7 million of the 37 million people who have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS were on treatment in 2017, five and a half times more than a decade ago.
This rapid and sustained increase in people getting treatment helped drive a 34 percent drop in AIDS-related deaths from 2010 to 2017. AIDS deaths in 2017 were the lowest this century, at fewer than a million people, the report said.
But Sidibe also pointed to what he said were “crisis” situations in preventing the spread of HIV, and in securing sustained funding.
“The success in saving lives has not been matched with equal success in reducing new HIV infections,” he said. “New HIV infections are not falling fast enough. HIV prevention services are not being provided on an adequate scale ... and are not reaching the people who need them the most.”
Sidibe said a failure to halt new infections among children was a big worry.
“I am distressed by the fact that in 2017, 180,000 children became infected with HIV, far from the 2018 target of eliminating new HIV infections among children,” he wrote.
Data in the report showed that overall among adults and children worldwide, some 1.8 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2017.
Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 77 million people have become infected with HIV. Almost half of them — 35.4 million — have died of AIDS.
The report said that at the end of 2017, $21.3 billion was available for the AIDS response in low- and middle-income countries. More than half of that came from domestic funding sources rather than international donors. UNAIDS estimates that $26.2 billion will be needed to fund the AIDS fight in 2020.
“There is a funding crisis,” Sidibe said. While global AIDS resources rose in 2017, there was still a 20 percent shortfall between what is needed and what is available.
Such a shortfall will be “catastrophic” for countries that rely on international assistance to fight AIDS, Sidibe said.