Pop music juggernaut Lady Gaga, known the world over for outrageous fashion, onstage antics and radio-friendly tunes, isn’t your typical AIDS educator. But it makes sense that someone so candid about sex—just watch her music videos—should lend her talents to AIDS activism.
Theatrics aside, Gaga—whose real name is Stefani Germanotta—has emerged since her 2008 mainstream debut as a bold new voice in the HIV awareness movement, joining celebrity advocates such as Bono, Annie Lennox, Sharon Stone and Sir Elton John. She’s been particularly outspoken regarding HIV/AIDS among women. As we know from World Health Organization estimates, HIV/AIDS is the No. 1 killer of women and girls ages 15 to 44 worldwide.
“I really don’t feel that there are enough women that are really educated about AIDS, how quickly it’s spreading, how dangerous it really is [and] how many people really have it,” Gaga told Good Morning America. In response, she’s working to change that in a manner that’s as alluring and in-your-face as
her public persona.
During Fashion Week in New York City this past February, Gaga dropped jaws with her performance at a gala benefit for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. She also teamed up with Planned Parenthood’s Proper Attire condom line to encourage her multitudes of fans to have safer sex. And perhaps most important for her cause, Gaga—alongside fellow pop diva and HIV advocate Cyndi Lauper—has become a spokesperson for M·A·C Cosmetics’ “From Our Lips,” the company’s latest Viva Glam lipstick collection. All proceeds from sales of this line benefit the M·A·C AIDS Fund, which will distribute funding to programs that address gender inequalities, domestic violence, discrimination and other factors that put women at risk for HIV.
Did we mention Gaga’s only 24? Something tells us this lady’s boldest performances lie ahead: both as an artist and an activist. And how can the world not love getting its sexual health advice from someone who is as likely to glue pearls to her face as she is to wear a coat made out of Kermit the Frog dolls? (Yes, she’s done both.) Go Gaga.