SOURCE: MAC AIDS Fund

MAC AIDS Fund

MAC AIDS Fund

November 14, 2014 08:13 ET

PEPFAR and MAC AIDS Fund Partnership Will Strengthen HIV/AIDS Services for Youth

More Than $2 Million Committed in Public-Private Partnership That Expands Critical HIV Prevention and Education Services for South African Youth

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Nov 14, 2014) - Today, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through its implementing agency, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the MAC AIDS Fund, the charitable arm of MAC Cosmetics, announced a joint effort to strengthen HIV/AIDS services for young people in South Africa. The partnership will focus on reaching young people who are most at risk for HIV infection, including adolescent girls, young women, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth. Grants totaling more than $2 million will be implemented by several USAID-funded non-government organizations that have extensive experience working with youth, including Grassroot Soccer, Anova, Kheth'Impilo and PATH. Each are working at the epicenter of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic at the community level in South Africa.

"We are delighted to partner with PEPFAR and USAID to expand the reach of these crucial services for young people in South Africa. To end the HIV epidemic, we have to reach young people and engage them in the solution," said Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President and Global Executive Director of the MAC AIDS Fund. "This public-private partnership allows us to greatly expand the scale and reach of services and together reach more young people at risk with crucial prevention and education services."

While there have been great strides toward controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, progress has been slower in preventing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women, particularly in Eastern and Southern Africa. Many adolescent girls and young women lack access to essential services due to gender biases that fuel harmful perceptions of them being unworthy of investment and protection. Additionally, they are increasingly vulnerable to HIV due to various other factors, including gender-based violence, discriminatory cultural norms, economic disadvantage, orphanhood, a lack of educational opportunities and child marriage.

"PEPFAR has made addressing HIV/AIDS among adolescent girls and young women a priority," said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. "We will not achieve an AIDS-free generation unless we can significantly reduce the rate of new HIV infections among adolescent girls, young women and other vulnerable populations and increase their access to lifesaving HIV services. PEPFAR is excited to work with the MAC AIDS Fund to prioritize HIV prevention for populations at greater risk for HIV."

Globally, 5.4 million adolescents and young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are living with HIV/AIDS, and new HIV infections among them are on the rise. Every day, 1,800 young people are newly infected with HIV, accounting for almost 30 percent of all new infections. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women and girls are up to five times more likely to have HIV than their male counterparts.

The announcement was made today at the New Museum in New York City as part of the "Rebels with a Cause: Igniting a Culture of Activism in Youth," an event co-hosted by The Atlantic and the MAC AIDS Fund, which explores and reignites the fire of activism in the hearts of America's youth, with a strong focus on global HIV activism.

ABOUT THE MAC AIDS FUND
The MAC AIDS Fund, the heart and soul of MAC Cosmetics, was established in 1994 to support men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally. MAF is a pioneer in HIV/AIDS funding, providing financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations. Recently recognized by Funders Concerned About AIDS as the top corporate giver in the arena, MAF is committed to addressing the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS by supporting diverse organizations around the world that provide a wide range of services to people living with HIV/AIDS. To date, MAF has raised more than $340 million (U.S.) exclusively through the sale of MAC's VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass donating 100 percent of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.macaidsfund.org.

ABOUT PEPFAR
The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information about PEPFAR, visit: www.PEPFAR.gov, http://twitter.com/pepfar or www.facebook.com/PEPFAR.

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