For Immediate Release
#PutItOn: Getting to Zero Sexually Transmitted HIV Infections
A Malaysian AIDS Foundation – The Body Shop – ESP Condoms social change project
KUALA LUMPUR, 27 November 2014 – Come World AIDS Day on 1 December, the Malaysian AIDS Foundation together with The Body Shop and ESP Condoms will be launching #PutItOn, a social media-driven campaign that seeks to raise awareness of and evoke social change in response to the alarming rise in sexually transmitted HIV infections in this country.
“It is time Malaysians face the cold hard facts about HIV,” said Prof. Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Chairman of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation. “One – Over 74 per cent of new HIV infections in Malaysia last year were sexually transmitted, which is a drastic two-fold increase in just five years! Two – When an epidemic is driven by sexual transmission, women and men are equally at risk. This can be shown by the fact that the male-to-female new infection ratio now has narrowed from 10:1 to 4:1 within the span of just ten years.”
“Considering how sex, in all its complexity, remains largely a taboo in our culture, this is by far the most formidable challenge that we have had to face in our effort to stem HIV in Malaysia. Recognising this, we decided to reach out to two of our most dedicated partners in the fight against HIV – The Body Shop and ESP Condoms – for much needed support,” she added.
#PutItOn is a yearlong campaign beginning World AIDS Day 2014, with the introduction of the ‘Getting to Zero’ condoms in specially packaged boxes supplied by ESP Condoms across all The Body Shop outlets in the country.
“When we learned about just how sexual transmission of HIV in this country is on the rise, we knew the extent of the work that was cut out for us. We did not hesitate for one second to extend our full support to the Malaysian AIDS Foundation,” explained Datin Mina Cheah-Foong, the Managing Director of The Body Shop.
“The Body Shop has been selling condoms in the store for more than 20 years. The idea is simple; it’s really just the ABC of sex. A is for abstinence, B is to Be Faithful and if you can’t be faithful, then go to C and put a condom on,” she elaborated.
“As a brand that promotes equality and defends human rights, The Body Shop has been, and will continue to be at the forefront of social change, challenging inequities, injustices and barriers that impede equal access to health. HIV is highly preventable, and it really is as easy as putting on a condom. But many, especially women, are not empowered enough or find it shameful to hold a condom let alone buy and put one on. By selling these condoms in our stores, we are helping to empower our customers with the knowledge and courage to protect their health, and at the same time encouraging them to give back to communities affected by HIV.”
The condom box packaging bears the sleek Malaysian AIDS Foundation’s signature red-on-black design of the three ‘Getting to Zero’ rings symbolising the three ‘Getting to Zero’ goals (Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths), and is a fold-out leaflet unto itself filled with vital information about HIV and safe sex.
Each box contains three pieces of condoms and will be sold at RM5. All proceeds from the sale of the ‘Getting to Zero’ condoms will go toward safe sex education, empowerment and other HIV intervention programmes run by Malaysian AIDS Foundation as well as the Malaysian AIDS Council and its partners for the benefit of some of the country’s most underserved and vulnerable populations, including single mothers and wives of injecting drug users.
First to heed the call to #PutItOn is Joey G, one of the Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation. “The rate at which sexual transmission of HIV is escalating in Malaysia leaves no room for complacency,” he said. “The immediate first step is to talk about it, and what better way to do that than by using social media platforms. Harnessing the full potential of social media, I hope to reach out to as many users, particularly young people, with accurate information about HIV and safe sex. But I certainly can’t do it alone, which is why I’m counting on the support of my friends and other celebrities to join me and activate #PutItOn.”
For ESP Condoms, the year 2014 is all about changing mindsets. Its contribution to the #PutItOn campaign is an extension of the premium condom producer’s ongoing commitment to eliminating barriers to empowerment and safety, often caused by taboos, myths, misconceptions and stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.
#PutItOn will be trending across all social media platforms of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation @myAIDScouncil, The Body Shop @TheBodyShop_MY and ESP Condoms @espcare. Fans and followers are invited to heat up the conversation and post photos and messages with #PutItOn. A series of in-store events is expected to fill the 2015 calendar to promote the campaign even further.
Malaysian AIDS Foundation
The Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) was formed in 1992 to raise and administer funds to support the activities and programmes of Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) and its Partner Organisations, under the patronage of YABhg Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister. MAF funds prevention, treatment and care programmes conducted by MAC. MAF also distributes corporate donors’ funds to support projects that have been unable to secure government funding or projects located in parts of the country where resources are scarce. To learn more, logon to www.mac.org.my
The Body Shop
The Body Shop International is a global manufacturer and retailer of naturally inspired, ethically produced beauty and cosmetic products. Founded in the UK in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick, it now has over 2,400 stores in more than 61 countries with a range of 1,200 products. The Western Malaysian operation includes 72 stores and is operated by Rampai Niaga Sdn Bhd. For further information about The Body Shop, please log on to www.thebodyshop.com.my
ESP (Enjoyable Safe Pleasure) Condoms
Established in 2007 by Medical-Latex (DUA) SDN BHD, a Beiersdorf AG Germany-owned company established in 1987 producing premium condoms, the ESP brand has been a strategic partner in spreading HIV and AIDS awareness with the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and its sister organisation the Malaysian AIDS Council since World AIDS Day in 2013. A contribution worth RM250,000 was committed by ESP, with the aim of establishing new platforms to reach more Malaysians from across the country. More information about ESP Condoms can be found atwww.espcare.com
Malaysian AIDS Foundation
The Body Shop Malaysia
Medical-Latex (DUA) SDN BHD