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“Add a Purpose to Your Pucker”
By: Josh Wade

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day, an event that is designed to raisesawareness of Americans on how and when to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The CDC encourages EVERYONE between the ages of 13 – 64 to get an HIV test at least once in their lifetime, while high-risk individuals, which includes intravenous drug users, gay and bisexual men and individuals with multiple sex partners to get tested yearly. There is currently 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV and 1 in 5 are unaware of their infection. Along racial lines, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.

In 2009, the estimated rate of new HIV infections among black women was 15 times that of white women and over three times that of Hispanic/Latina women.

Make-up Artist Cosmetics, also known as MAC, established the MAC AIDS Fund in 1994 which was developed to support people who are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. One of the backbone’s for MAC’s AIDS Fund is VIVA GLAM, a line of six permanent lipsticks and lip glosses, where 100% of the sales price goes to help those living with HIV/AIDS around the world. MAC is currently the leading non-pharmaceutical corporate fundraiser for HIV/AIDS worldwide and has raised over $224 million dollars to date thanks to the VIVA GLAM campaign.

What can buying ONE VIVA GLAM lipstick or lipgloss for $14.50 USD do? Just to give you an idea… ONE VIVA GLAM = 254 male condoms that effectively prevent HIV transmission ONE VIVA GLAM = 24 female condoms for distribution by local Health Departments to prevent HIV transmission ONE VIVA GLAM = 2 nights of shelter for a homeless person living with HIV/AIDS ONE VIVA GLAM = 1 rapid oral HIV test ONE VIVA GLAM = 8 home-delivered meals for a person living with HIV/AIDS who cannot cook for themselves ONE VIVA GLAM = Monthly transportation to/from medical appointments for a child living with HIV/AIDS ONE VIVA GLAM = 4 HIV tests for newborn babies to determine their HIV status ONE VIVA GLAM = Medicine for 5 newborn babies to prevent transmission of HIV from their mothers ONE VIVA GLAM = A six month supply of Omega 3 fish oil to help decrease the inflammation cause by the immune system’s battle against HIV ONE VIVA GLAM = One year of clean, sterile syringes for an injection drug user to prevent HIV infection ONE VIVA GLAM = 3 nutritious meals for 3 children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Celebrities and public figures such as Elton John, Mary J. Blige, RuPaul, Lil Kim, Chloë Sevigny and Boy George have all been spokespeople for Viva Glam. The current celebrity endorsers for VIVA GLAM are Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin, who have both worked diligently to fight HIV/AIDS.

Spread your knowledge and not the virus. Get tested, know your status and practice a safe lifestyle for not only yourself, but for those around you. Another way to help combat HIV is to support those that support your community. I added a purpose to my pucker by purchasing a lipglass VIVA GLAM V! Let’s eradicate HIV/AIDS, so that lives can be saved. Besos!