Aid for Africa: Statement by Executive Director on Justine Sacco’s Tweet on AIDS in Africa

Saturday, December 21, 2013:  Aid for Africa’s Barbara Alison Rose responds to the Justine Sacco tweet about AIDS in Africa and the creation of a website that links to Aid for Africa’s donation page. 

Turn a Bad Situation Into Something Good

by Barbara Alison Rose, Executive Director
December 21, 2013
You almost certainly have heard about IAC public relations executive Justine Sacco’s heedless tweet about AIDS in Africa. It’s gone viral and caused a deluge of feature media articles and  commentary. A few commentators have tried to turn Sacco’s blunder toward positive action on AIDS prevention in Africa, and someone—not Aid for Africa—created a new website,, the sole purpose of which was to direct people to Aid for Africa,  explaining, “not affiliated with Aid for Africa, but you should be.”
Sacco’s tweet speaks to a lack of understanding about Africa and AIDS and reinforces an uninformed tendency to link AIDS and Africa whenever one or the other is mentioned. It is particularly unfortunate because progress is being made to combat AIDS in Africa by Aid for Africa member organizations and others.
Members of the Aid for Africa alliance are fighting HIV and AIDS through education, treatment, and care programs. And they are raising awareness for those affected by HIV and AIDS as we reported in a recent blog.
Clearly, there is more to be done in Africa, and we have more work to do to get the word out. I encourage you to spend time on our website to learn about our members and their work, not only in AIDS prevention and treatment, but in education, small business development, agriculture, environmental improvement, wildlife conservation, and more.
As a supporter of Aid for Africa, I invite you to share our website with friends and family, reach out through Twitter by using our handle @AidforAfrica, and like and share our posts on Facebook at Let’s turn a bad situation into something good.

Read statement in PDF.