Irish rock band U2 is releasing a free song on iTunes during the Super Bowl, and for the first two million downloads, Bank of America (NYSE: BOA) will donate a dollar to fight AIDS in Africa.
The new single, “Invisible,” will be free for 24 hours after its debut on a Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 2. The donations will go to (RED), an AIDS charity U2 lead singer Bono co-founded with activist Bobby Shriver.
Bank of America has promised to donate an additional $8 million, or $10 million total.
The Gates Foundation, led by Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, will match Bank of America’s $10 million donation. German software company SAP and the Motsepes, a wealthy South African mining family, have also agreed to donate $1 million each, bringing the total pledged to (RED) to $22 million.
The song release and partnership with Bank of America were announced Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Bono and Shriver started (RED) in Davos in 2008. The organization has so far used $240 million to treat and help prevent AIDS in eight African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.
In particular, (RED) aims to prevent transmission of AIDS from mother to child by 2015, a goal from the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. Currently in South African countries, HIV causes between 10 and 28 percent of all deaths among children under 5, according to UNICEF. About 700 babies are born every day with HIV, and without effective treatment, more than half will die before their second birthday.