A new UK study from the MAC AIDS Fund (MAF), the philanthropic arm of Estee Lauder-owned (NYSE: EL) MAC Cosmetics, shockingly reveals prevalent risky behavior amongst British women due to significant gaps in HIV awareness and education.

Almost three quarters (73 percent) of women in the UK admit they’ve never been tested for HIV and AIDS and more than half (57 percent) of those who aren’t routinely tested attribute the widespread nonchalance to a sense of security of not being susceptible or vulnerable to the AIDS virus.
Over the past decade, women have been hard hit across the globe with a steady rise of HIV infection. Specifically, heterosexual transmission of the disease and infection amongst UK-born women has progressively increased. In response, MAF recently launched a new VIVA GLAM campaign focused on strengthening the service network and resources available to women living with and at risk of contracting HIV.

Amplified by the star power of new VIVA GLAM spokespeople, Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga, the women’s initiative’s mission is to empower women everywhere through open communication, awareness and support systems.
As a platform for the new VIVA GLAM campaign, MAF commissioned a national survey to gauge perceptions of HIV/AIDS and its impact on women through the lens of the UK consumer and its leading experts. This side-by-side comparison was a crucial step in assessing key areas fueling the spread of HIV/AIDS in women and outlining potential solutions.
Survey highlights include:
– Ninety-five percent of British women aren’t routinely tested for HIV
and AIDS.
– Additionally, eighty-two percent of British women who answered our
survey admitted they’ve had sex without a condom.
– Sixty percent of British women who had sexual intercourse without a
condom did so because they believed they were in an exclusive
– Sixty percent of British women think HIV and AIDS are not issues that
impacts women in their community.
– Nearly one in five British women admits there isn’t anything that would
make them get tested for HIV, even if they’ve been tested in the past.
“HIV/AIDS is a silent killer among women in the UK and the time is now to sound the alarm that the risk is real,” said Nancy Mahon, Executive Director of the MAC AIDS Fund. “The earlier we can diagnose and treat HIV, the better the quality and length of those people’s lives.

The survey insights are a wake-up call that we need to improve HIV awareness and access to prevention methods for women in the U.K. While HIV is 100 percent preventable, it’s not curable. When people know their status, they’re more likely to practice prevention — which for now is the end game in this epidemic we are sadly losing.”