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10 Celebrity Icons of HIV Activism

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Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys has stood up against HIV and AIDS through her organization Keep a Child Alive, which promotes prevention and treatment in Africa. But when the R&B songstress teamed up with the Empowered Project, she became the new voice of HIV awareness for women in the U.S.

“Talking about HIV/AIDS, you know, it’s critical and it is our generation’s issue and if we don’t talk about it now, it’s going to continue,” she told ABC News. “We tend to have a good international dialogue, like a good, healthy dialogue, but we’re not really discussing it in America. … We have to learn as much as we can and we have to share with as many people we can.”

 

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Rihanna

Even though Rihanna is new to the world of HIV activism, we have a feeling she is going to bring the same passion and strength in her music to the fight against AIDS. The “Umbrella” singer has partnered with MAC Cosmetics to raise awareness and educate people about the virus. She also walked the red carpet for a new documentary called “It’s Not Over,” which is about three young people who are affected by HIV.

“I am very close with my fans, and when MAC approached me about this, I got a whole lot of information [and] a lot of heartbreaking real statistics that I didn’t know,” Rihanna told HIV Plus magazine. “They were very shocking for me, and it’s something that I felt was important for me to get the word out, to spread the word, to educate young people, educate my fans on a matter that’s really killing us and killing the youth.”

 

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President Bill Clinton

Although it may not have been his main priority while in office, President Clinton has spent much time post-presidency fighting the AIDS epidemic in Africa and around the world. He has shown almost a singular focus on raising awareness and delivering aid through the Clinton Global Initiative and has taken multiple trips to a number of countries across Africa, working to post nurses in rural clinics in various countries, deliver medicines to people who need them, and send experts to train hospital workers throughout the continent.  

 

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Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox brings passion and tenacity to everything she does, and her work in HIV activism is no different. The vocal powerhouse has championed many causes and is a celebrated social activist who has worked tirelessly to give a voice to women and children living with HIV in Africa and throughout the world. The U.N. ambassador launched the SING campaign, which works to raise support for HIV-positive women and children in Southern Africa. She also recruited 23 prominent female vocalists to contribute to the song “Sing,” which raised money and awareness for the HIV and AIDS organization Treatment Action Campaign.

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