A lot of heads were turned last night when Annie Lennox showed up on “Idol Gives Back” wearing a t-shirt with the words “HIV POSITIVE” emblazoned on the front (she also wore the shirt to events last year, including the 2009 Edinburgh Festival of Politics and the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert in New York last October). The good news is she herself is not HIV positive, but simply showing solidarity with the millions of people who are.
In the video below, which was actually created last November, Lennox explains that she first saw someone wearing a bold “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirt in South Africa in 2004, and she thought it was such a “clever, brilliant” idea, she decided to run with it herself. “In a country like South Africa, where HIV is so prevalent, and yet you have stigma where people are afraid to openly come out and say that they’re HIV positive,” she says, “this t-shirt, whoever wears it, is making a statement of solidarity, and they’re saying, ‘We’re coming out from behind the shadows. We’re trying to normalize what is a preventable thing. It doesn’t need to have the stigma.’”