Saturday 21 September 2019

Social media star James Kavanagh urges people to pay attention to HIV as ten Irish people diagnosed every week

James Kavanagh launching a new HIV self-test kit in Ireland earlier this year. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan
James Kavanagh launching a new HIV self-test kit in Ireland earlier this year. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Social media star James Kavanagh is backing a new campaign by Durex and Aids charity HIV Ireland, encouraging people to “give a f**k’ about AIDS”.

Ahead of World Aids Day on December 1, Durex is teaming with HIV Ireland to support its mission to end Aids globally.

Money raised from sales of a box of limited edition Durex Red condoms will go to the Keeping Girls In School programme in South Africa, which aims to reduce pregnancies and new HIV infections among young women in the country, where an estimated 7.2 million people are currently living with the virus.

James Kavanagh said: “As HIV incidence in Ireland continues to increase, it is not only critical for the people of Ireland to practice safer sex, but by taking action and purchasing a box of (DUREXTM)RED condoms ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1st, we can support Durex, HIV Ireland and (RED) in the fight against AIDS worldwide.”

“Every two minutes a teenager around the world is infected with HIVii Recent research conducted by Durex shows that a significant 10 people in Ireland are diagnosed with HIV a week. I hope that the Irish public will join me in using their voices to drive awareness of  ‘give a f**k’ about AIDS,” he added.

Singer Zara Larsson, known for hits including Lush Life and Symphony, with Clean Bandit, has shared her support for the campaign, as well as Emmy Award-winning actor Thandie Newton.

Larsson also appears in a provocative expletive-laden promotional video along with the likes of actress Thandie Newton and 13 Reasons Why actor Christian Navarro, in which they ask viewers to share the drive’s message on social media using the hashtag #GAF.

Ben Wilson, global category director for Durex, said: “Thirty-seven million people are living with HIV around the world, and this ground-breaking new partnership with RED allows everyone to play a role in helping end Aids.

“Sixty-nine per cent of sexually active people around the world are having sex on a weekly basis, and not only is our mission to help protect them, but through this vital partnership, we hope to make a huge difference to young women who are disproportionately affected by this devastating disease in South Africa.”

RED’s chief executive Deborah Dugan said it is “exhilarating” for the charity to partner with Durex in “such a provocative, inspiring and creative way”.

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