Annie Lennox Champions HIV Awareness
Annie Lennox was part of last night’s “Idol Gives Back.” As part of her SING Campaign she wore a black t-shirt with the words “HIV POSITIVE” emblazoned in bold white print on the front. On the back in the same bold white print is “Fighting HIV/AIDS.”
So is Lennox HIV positive? As she explains in the video below, she is not HIV positive, but simply showing solidarity with the millions of people who are. It is part of her campaign to raise awareness.
The video was actually created last November after Lennox was seen wear the shirt to events including the 2009 Edinburgh Festival of Politics and the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert in New York last October.
Lennox explains that she first saw someone wearing a bold “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirt in South Africa in 2004, and she thought it was such a “clever, brilliant” idea, she decided to run with it herself. She says, “this t-shirt, whoever wears it, is making a statement of solidarity, and they’re saying, ‘We’re coming out from behind the shadows. We’re trying to normalize what is a preventable thing. It doesn’t need to have the stigma.’”
It is important to know your HIV status so that treatment can begin early. It is especially important to be tested yearly if you participate in any of these behaviors:
* Have injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others
* Have had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners
* Have exchanged sex for drugs or money
* Have been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis
* Have had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions
If you test positive for HIV, the CDC recommends that you be seen by a licensed health care provider, preferably one with experience treating people living with HIV. Your physician will then help you with treatment information and guidance.