Merida PartnersJoachim Franz

World Aids Awareness Expedition - Carrying the message to five continents

All over the world, more than 33 million human beings are infected with the HIV virus. Only during 2009, 1.8 million people died from Aids. Hard facts that hide personal fates. These fates prompted Aids activist Joachim Franz (who became known as extreme athlete before) to carry his message around the world during his struggle against the immunodeficiency. Led by the 51-year old German from Wolfsburg, a convoy of five vehicles hit the road on April 17, 2011 to travel around the world within 100 days. A so far truly unique adventure: A dedicated dozen of women and men crossed all five inhabited continents on a special mission. Their “aids awareness expedition 2011” under the motto “move the world” aimed at encouraging people all over the planet to keep up the struggle against HIV/Aids with all available strength – and to carry on fighting ceaselessly against one of the biggest threats to mankind.

In doing so, Franz and his team followed a route that covered the world map like a giant “W”. They drove through North, Central and South America as well as through Europe, Africa and Asia – followed by some flights and sea voyages before Australia marked the final full stop behind the virtual “W”.

Via this inclusion of all continents, the expedition created a link between rich countries (whose HIV-positive citizens often have a comparatively longer life expectancy thanks to medical care) and poor nations where an HIV infection can be compared with a sentence of death still far too often – due to poverty, lack of infrastructure and deficient education. The objective of “move the world” was, and still is, to reach a widest possible audience: As many people as possible are encouraged to support the struggle against HIV/Aids via their individual help – e. g. by donations.

As partner of Joachim Franz, MERIDA has been supporting the dedicated Aids activist and his “aids awareness” expeditions since 2005. And you can help, too: Within the context of the “move the world” tour, an exceptional campaign was launched. The latter reaches beyond monetary donations – in addition, every supporter provides an own article and/or photograph. Thereby she or he starts an individual “move the world” mission. For further details about this “Join in, we move the world” campaign, please visit