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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Marshall Heyman
December 19, 2012
Wall Street Journal (12.19.12)

To raise awareness and money for the fight against AIDS, the Coca-Cola Company and the RED charity have introduced THRED, which is a free mobile game available at the Apple App Store. In THRED, players are able to donate money, if they choose, to RED, at low-cost and high-cost ends. According to Lee Perry, president and designer at BitMonster, who developed the game, a donation of $209 may seem large, but he emphasizes that players of other games do make similar expensive microtransactions such as this. Perry declares that this donation can “literally save a life,” or pay for an expectant mother’s antiviral medication in Africa. He explained that BitMonster created the game by focusing on the “spiritual realm” of games, rather than using an epidemic simulator. Anne Carelli, senior manager of global sports and entertainment marketing at Coca-Cola, emphasized that the free app design of THRED, with the possibility of garnering potential in-app microtransactions, was a good fit, rather than offering the game for purchase at the outset.