Rihanna helps in global HIV effort

MAC Cosmetics Launches Viva Glam Rihanna
(left to right) Michel Sidibe Executive Director UNAIDS, Singer Rihanna, John Demsey, Chairman, M-A-C AIDS Fund and Group President, The Estee Lauder Companies and Nancy Mahon, global executive director, MAC AIDS Fund attend the MAC Cosmetics Launch of Viva Glam Rihanna at MAC Store Soho yesterday in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for MAC Cosmetics)

Barbadian pop star Rihanna is teaming up with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and M.A.C to reach nearly two million people in need of lifesaving HIV treatment.

UNAIDS today announced the expansion of its Treatment 2015 initiative with a US$2 million grant provided by the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund which is fully supported from the sale of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass, with global superstar Rihanna lending her celebrity to spur purchase and awareness.

The grant will support expanded efforts to ensure adolescents and young people have access to HIV treatment and care internationally. New youth outreach efforts will include the evaluation of young people testing and treatment programmes and adaptation of adolescent and young people treatment guidelines.

“M∙A∙C Cosmetics has a long history of engaging the right star power to motivate our customers and make an impact on this important cause. With UNAIDS’ resources and strategic thinking and Rihanna’s passionate support, we’re helping save lives one lipstick at a time,” said John Demsey, Group President of The Estée Lauder Companies.

While antiretroviral therapy has resulted in a decline in AIDS-related deaths, modelling suggests that adolescents from 10 to 19-years-old are the only age group in which AIDS-related deaths rose between 2001 and 2012. The trend in AIDS-related deaths can be attributed to poor prioritization of adolescents in strategic plans for scale-up of HIV treatment and the lack of testing and counselling.

“Young people will lead us to an AIDS-free generation. By ensuring adolescents and young people have access to HIV services, we are not only saving lives but also investing in a healthier future for generations to come,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

“We are truly honored to be working with the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund to help young people around the world access earlier HIV testing and treatment.”

The UNAIDS Treatment 2015 initiative aims to reach 15 million adults and young people with HIV treatment by 2015.

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