Hairdressers Initiate 1 Million Conversations on World AIDS Day; Aim to Reach 110 Million Americans in 2011
Five hundred hairdressers from across the country will take to the streets of New York City on December 1st — World AIDS Day 2010 — to launch ‘Hairdressers Against Aids’ in the United States. Hairdressers Against AIDS is a global advocacy program that aims to empower the entire industry of hairdressers and salon professionals to use their unique relationship with their clients and communities to become a resource to interact, educate and help prevent the spread of HIV. Hairdressers Against AIDS (U.S.) is sponsored by The L’Oreal Fondation D’Enterprise in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GBC), and is believed to be one of the largest HIV/AIDS mobilization campaigns in U.S. history.
“It is an honor to have all the L’Oreal Professional Products Divisions come together for the first time to lead such an important conversation among the salon industry and the millions of clients they speak to every day.” said Pat Parenty, President of L’Oreal USA Professional Products Division, “I salute the extraordinary passion of all involved in this program.”
On World AIDS Day, after being trained and educated about HIV/AIDS at the United Nations headquarters by experts from UNESCO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and the Global Business Coalition, the army of hairdressers, dressed in red ribbon-themed hats, scarves, and vests, will be seen around New York City sparking 1 million conversations about HIV and AIDS. Using Flip Video™ camcorders and video booths located throughout Manhattan, the hairdressers will engage people to record messages about HIV/AIDS. These videos will then be streamed to Times Square video billboards as well as the campaign Facebook page and Web site: http://www.hairdressersagainstaids.com. The campaign encourages all participants to “Use Your Voice, Use Your Power, For A Beautiful World Without AIDS.”
“It is an unfortunate truth that we talk less and less about HIV and AIDS in this country, as if the epidemic has gone away – when in fact it rages on,” said Christine Schuster, SVP of Worldwide Education at Redken and Pureology, and the Chair of Hairdressers Against AIDS USA. “Hairdressers have a special connection to communities nationwide and are able to communicate important and informative messages. We are proud to take this stance in empowering a very influential community of artists with the knowledge and power to share a message that can help save lives.”
Hairdressers Against AIDS will launch with a long list of high-profile personalities who have lent their voice to the multi-year effort and will help promote the campaign.
|Some personalities who have used their voice for a beautiful world without AIDS:|
In 2011, Hairdressers Against AIDS will rollout to salons across the country with the goal of inspiring stylists to use their voice and their power to generate awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout the year. Hairdressers will model the conversation activation taking place on December 1, 2010, taking it to their salons and local communities, encouraging other stylists and their clients to join the conversation. Along with having access to educational tool kits designed for salon professionals, the Hairdressers Against AIDS Web site will be a resource that enables users to share their personal HIV/AIDS awareness message via video streaming, while also providing data, messages, and webtools provided by the campaign’s U.S. government and NGO partners. With 500,000 hairdressers in the L’Oreal Professional Products Division salon network, who see an average of 20 million clients per week, this campaign has the opportunity to reach more than 110 million Americans per year through the L’Oreal network alone.
“Hairdressers Against AIDS is a smart, grassroots, public-private partnership campaign like no other in memory,” said John Tedstrom, President and CEO of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “The campaign isn’t just about corporate leadership, or public-private partnership. It’s about personal, one on one conversations, initiated by hairdressers, potentially changing the lives of millions of Americans.”
“Education is the best prevention we have today against HIV and AIDS. We have to reach out widely to raise awareness and fight discrimination. This is what the Hairdressers against Aids program does,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO. “I would like to congratulate all hairdressers who are carrying the message about protection and prevention to adolescents, parents and other customers. This is an invaluable contribution to achieving an AIDS-free generation.”
The HIV and AIDS epidemic continues to extract a heavy toll in the United States, with 1.1 million Americans living with the disease today. Every 9 ½ minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV, and 21% of those who are infected do not know their status. This is why Hairdressers Against AIDS aims to get people talking about HIV prevention and testing.
For more information, and to Use Your Voice, Use Your Power, For A Beautiful World Without AIDS, please visit www.HairdressersAgainstAIDS.com.
About Hairdressers Against AIDS
Started as an internal SoftSheen-Carson program in 2001 in Africa, Hairdressers Against AIDS is now in 30 countries, and growing, launching in the United States on World AIDS Day 2010 (December 1). Hairdressers Against AIDS (U.S.) is an advocacy program, developed by The L’Oreal Fondation D’Enterprise, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GBC), which empowers salon professionals to use their unique client relationships to engage in a dialogue that will educate and help prevent the spread of HIV in communities across the U.S.
About The L’Oreal Fondation D’Enterprise
The L’Oreal Fondation D’Enterprise strives to promote scientific research and encourages and supports the place of women in science. They are also committed to education and awareness of the major challenges facing society in this century such as the fight against AIDS. Additionally, they support those made vulnerable by life in re-establishing their positive self-image and helping them to feel better by caring for their appearance so that they may return to a normal life.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a Specialized Agency that promotes international cooperation among its 193 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues; assists Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields and works toward a global vision of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty.
About the Global Business Coalition HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria (GBC)
The Coalition is at the heart of a movement that is closing gaps and increasing impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. It is a movement that will end these diseases faster. The GBC is turning business assets into disease-fighting assets. They are making global health action smarter by joining the corporate sector, governments and civil society together in common cause. It is essential, high-impact leadership that companies and their stakeholders can be very proud of.