GENEVA/NEW YORK, 30 January 2014—The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) announced today the expansion of its Treatment 2015 initiative with a US$ 2 million grant provided by the heart and soul of M∙A∙C Cosmetics, the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund. The Fund is fully supported from the sale of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass with global superstar Rihanna lending her celebrity to spur purchase and awareness. Leveraging this new funding, UNAIDS will build on Treatment 2015 by advancing global, regional and country level policies and programs to expand HIV testing and treatment to young people worldwide.
"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.
Globally, an estimated 5.4 million adolescents and young people are living with HIV, and 1.8 million are eligible for HIV treatment. Millions of young people living with HIV do not know they are infected, and every day, approximately 2,100 adolescents and young people are newly infected, which accounts for 39% of all new HIV infections globally. 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. The US$ 2 million grant from the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund 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.
“Ending the AIDS epidemic is within our power, but we cannot achieve it without expanding treatment access to ensure some of the most underserved, vulnerable communities, particularly young people, are not left behind,” said Nancy Mahon, Global Executive Director of the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund. “For this reason, the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund will continue to invest in strategic, impactful initiatives like UNAIDS’ Treatment 2015 that are working toward ending AIDS once and for all.”
The grant to UNAIDS was made possible exclusively through the sale of M∙A∙C’s VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass, which M∙A∙C donates 100% of the sale price to fight HIV. Rihanna, M∙A∙C’s new VIVA GLAM spokesperson, recently launched her new VIVA GLAM collection, which will benefit organizations like UNAIDS to support men, women and children affected by HIV globally.
"I'm honored to join forces with the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund and UNAIDS in the fight against AIDS," said Rihanna. "I want to help reach as many young people around the world as I can. While we need to begin with education, we also need to deliver HIV testing and treatment to the millions of young people who need our help, which is exactly what we plan to do."
See Rihanna on 'Good Morning America' speaking about her new role here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIPJVTIHYaE
UNAIDS Treatment 2015 has started to roll out globally. To learn more about UNAIDS’s plans to reach 15 million people by 2015, download the UNAIDS Treatment 2015 report.