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2,631 Lipsticks Sold to Support Aids Fund

Friday 1 December is World AIDS Day ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 30 November 2006

2,631 Lipsticks Sold to Support Aids Fund as NZ HIV & AIDS Stats Show Alarming Trends

Over the past 12 months, New Zealanders have purchased 2,631 M.A.C VIVA GLAM lipsticks, raising $100,000 to assist with HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention.

Today - World AIDS Day - that $100,000 cheque will be presented to Positive Women Inc., an organisation providing much-needed support to women (and their families) in New Zealand living with HIV and AIDS.

Internationally, M.A.C has been a firm and loyal supporter of HIV/AIDS related charities, donating 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of their VIVA GLAM range since 1994.

Positive Women Inc. national coordinator, Jane Bruning says that M.A.C's ongoing support provides a financial lifeline.

"Without the funds donated by M.A.C we simply couldn't exist. We don't receive government funding and until M.A.C's first contribution in 2004, we were purely a volunteer organisation.

"Today, with M.A.C's assistance, we offer a raft of services to women and children living with HIV and AIDS in New Zealand. We also participate on government advisory panels to ensure the issues facing these women are being addressed through the Ministry of Health's HIV and AIDS Action Plan," Jane says.

This latest contribution of $100,000 will go towards Positive Women's Destigmatisation campaign, which is due to be launched in early 2007.

"The continuing stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS forces many women to live isolated and lonely lives. The purpose of

this campaign will be to break the silence and promote acceptance, tolerance and understanding within the wider community," Jane says.

The timing of this campaign is also relevant - the latest New Zealand HIV and AIDS statistics show a worrying trend. In the six months to June 2006, 79 people were newly diagnosed with HIV through antibody testing. Of those, 26 were men infected through sex with other men, one was a child infected through perinatal transmission overseas, eight were from unknown causes and 44 were infected through heterosexual contact*.

"Unfortunately, this is not a one-off statistical 'blip', the number of people contracting HIV through heterosexual contact has steadily increased in recent years. So now, more than ever, Positive Women Inc. is needed to not only raise awareness, but to underpin education efforts to ensure these rates begin to decrease," Jane says.

In making the cheque presentation, M.A.C New Zealand brand manager, Jodie Matthews said that sales of VIVA GLAM continue to show strong growth.

"Our customers appreciate the fact that they can buy a beautiful product and support a good cause at the same time. For once, there's no guilt associated with shopping!

"We just hope that our donations to Positive Women Inc. can steadily increase, as the organisation is so very worthwhile," Jodie says.


*Data from AIDS - New Zealand Issue 58, September 2006

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