Last week my colleague Lisa wrote a nice piece about opportunities to support organizations leveraging sport to address social problems around the world. Well, as much as I love Lisa, she was topped by our friend Nancy Mahon from the M•A•C AIDS Fund, who really lays it on the line her her Huffington Post piece Battling HIV/AIDS in South Africa One Goal at a Time.
For years, HIV cases in South Africa have been disproportionately concentrated among women and girls. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women between 15 and 24-years old account for 75% of total HIV infections. In South Africa specifically, a young woman is four times more likely to be HIV-positive than a South African young man…
And M•A•C has been addressing these issues since 1994. They make grants in the US and in 66 additional countries. And they have one of the most successful cause marketing programs in history with their Viva Glam lipstick. Yes, lipstick is helping people with AIDS around the world. With Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga front and center, 11 MILLION lipsticks have been sold. And here’s the best part. Unlike programs that contribute $1, or even 10% per product sold, 100% of the purchase price of Viva Glam products goes to fight HIV/AIDS. Think about what one lipstick purchase ($14) can do:
In the US…
- Pay for 2 emergency boxes filled with non-perishable food
- Fund the printing of 15 copies of “Tips to Eating Well with HIV/AIDS” booklets
- Buy 18 personalized birthday cakes to be hand-delivered to a person living with HIV/AIDS on his/her birthday
- Buy 1 week’s supply of groceries (about 4 bags of food) for 2 clients
- Provide support and education for 5 pregnant women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS giving them the tools to prevent transmission to their unborn child
- Provide 2 children with 2 meals per day at Noah’s Ark for 1month
- Buy 1 pair of school shoes for a child orphaned by AIDS
Not bad for a tube of lipstick.
Nancy makes the following important point in her post:
Much of the press coverage around social issues in South Africa over the past week or so has focused on the high AIDS rates but few have mentioned one of the largest drivers of the disease — sexual violence against girls and young boys. All of the AIDS education in schools and billboard campaigns in the world will not effectively tackle the South African AIDS epidemic unless we create and support programs that honestly confront this national and international sorrow.