Today in London, Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper, the latest MAC Viva Glam spokespeople, will once again take center stage. This time, they'll be talking to women in the UK and internationally about how they can be sexy, powerful and still protect themselves from HIV infection. Why? People listen to rock stars in ways that they don't listen to Surgeon Generals and Health Ministers, and we have no time to waste.
The number of HIV infections from heterosexual sex in the UK doubled from 2003 to 2007. Yet a recent MAC AIDS Fund survey revealed rampant risky behavior in the UK -- 73 percent of women have never been tested for HIV and 82 percent admitted to having straight sex without a condom.
As I mentioned in my last post, MAC Cosmetics is going on the road with Gaga and Lauper to kick-start a new conversation about women and AIDS as well as to announce $2.5 million in grants. This commitment includes £100,000 of grants in the UK to help women address the social, financial and educational issues that place them at higher risk for HIV infection.
Cyndi Lauper will also be visiting with HIV-positive women at Positively Women in London to gain their thoughts and insights as fuel for the campaign.
HIV prevention efforts for women have been largely focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission, which is critically important. This campaign is seeking to prevent women from getting infected in the first place , so that we can reduce the ballooning numbers of AIDS orphans, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean.
Here's hoping Gaga and Cyndi connect the world and motivate their fans everywhere to join the fight against HIV/AIDS.