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Why did World AIDS Day (December 1) bring together NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Inez Dickens & celebrity hair stylists Kimmi Hendrix (clients are Jennifer Hudson & Queen Latifah) among other notables at a press conference yesterday morning?  It was to officially bring nationwide attention to the year-old initiative Hairdressers Against AIDS which is sponsored by the L’Oreal Foundation D’Enterprise.

Some of the statistics that spawned the creation of Hairdressers Against AIDS –  were these facts: HIV/AIDS is the number one killer of black women ages 18-34, 20% of the U.S. population is infected with the disease, but are living in ignorant bliss because they’ve never been tested and 1.2 million America are infected today.

Your first thought might be so how does a hairdresser make any sort of impact on a disease that’s ravaged the African-American community for years? The answer is simple. Stylists are unofficial therapists for the many clients they service in salons and on movie sets. Stylists have the unique opportunity to maximize on client relationships by becoming a resource and educator on preventing the spread of HIV. Just think…a passing conversation about this very topic could unwittingly pass the baton to you so you then spread this message and so on and so on.

Established hairdressers & colorists took quickly to this initiative when they were first approached, however, it was evident that more voices were needed to spread the prevention message, so beauty schools across the nation were also enlisted to advance this cause.

Don’t become a statistic. Get tested regularly.

Pictured left to right: Celebrity Hairdresser Kimmi Hendrix, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, AIDS Activist Maria Davis, Council Member Inez Dickens-District 9 (Harlem), Hair on Madison Salon Owner Rochelle Walters, US Chair of Hairdressers Against AIDS Christine Schuster, Director of Education at MIZANI Veronique Morrison.

Use Your Voice, Use Your Power For A Beautiful World Without Aids by visiting www.HairdressersAgainstAIDS.com.

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