Annie Lennox's 'HIV POSITIVE' black t-shirt shocked fans at her recent American Idol related appearance - despite the fact that it wasn't the first time she'd worn it on stage. In November, Annie sported her black tee with the controversial words in huge white letters when she performed with Aretha Franklin.
So what's all the buzz about? Watching Annie perform live via satellite on American Idol; Idol Gives Back (volcanic ash caused travel restrictions), people speculated wildly whether or not the black tee had a sinister meaning - could Annie have AIDS?
No, fans were reassured yet again, Lennox isn't HIV positive - she's just passionate about helping those who are. The Scottish singer / songwriter and gay icon has long been an advocate for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.
During her Idol Gives Back appearance, Lennox made a point of introducing a four year old little girl with HIV and pneumonia, whose mother had died from AIDS, leaving her an orphan. She spoke about the impact AIDS and HIV have on the helpless and vulnerable, and urged others to support the cause.
Annie has big plans for her charity work in 2010; she and The SING Campaign will be supporting the Love Is All We Need Dinner and Auction on World AIDS Orphans Day, 7th May 2010.
According to the Love is All We Need website, the SING campaign was started by Lennox when she heard Nelson Mandela describe the African HIV pandemic as ‘genocide’, targeting mainly women and children. She has already raised 2 million dollars, and is expected to talk at the dinner about her ongoing battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as her experiences in South Africa.
“Access to treatment is a basic human rights issue. People do not have to die from AIDS,” Annie insists.
The funds from the dinner and auction will buy food and medicine for projects run by Love Is All We Need in the Sweetwaters Community in South Africa. Reports claim there are over 5,000 orphans in Sweetwaters, and at least 40% of the community's inhabitants are HIV positive. Statistics posted on the Love is All We Need website reveal that:
* Every 15 seconds a young person aged 15-24 contracts HIV.
* Every minute a child under 15 dies of an AIDS related illness.
* 56 million people are currently living with HIV in South Africa.
* 50% of children born with HIV die before the age of 2.
* Half of all pregnant mothers in South Africa are HIV positive, but with treatment their children can be born HIV free.
Annie will continue in her battle against AIDS and HIV, and we can expect to see her wearing her HIV POSITIVE shirt at plenty more events in the coming year.