Laura Neale|25.01.2017|Event Feature MTV News

MTV Staying Alive Foundation is proud to announce that its newest celebrity ambassador is the multi-award-winning and Grammy nominated singer/ songwriter Leona Lewis.

Leona is no stranger to MTV Staying Alive and our work as she’s already performed at our annual art auction MTV: REDEFINE in Dallas, Texas. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she’s also a passionate humanitarian and activist, and that’s why we can’t wait to have Leona representing the charity on a global scale. We think she’s going to be a fantastic spokesperson and face of the organisation as we continue our mission of building an empowered and educated generation of young people, equipped with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves and each other from HIV.

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“It is a great honour to be working with MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation as an ambassador.  I’m eager to raise awareness of the ongoing global HIV crisis. By empowering young people with knowledge about the disease – particularly women and girls who are disproportionately affected – we can help treat it and ultimately prevent it altogether.”

Leona Lewis

Leona’s support for MTV Staying Alive comes at a pivotal time in the fight against HIV/AIDS, when millions of young people are at risk of infection and millions more face barriers to their sexual and reproductive health. While reports continue to laud the progress being made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the data actually shows that young people, specifically young women and adolescent girls, are still at great risk.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have the extremely passionate and talented Leona Lewis join our ranks this year. Aside from her awesome voice – which we’ll be hearing later in the year – Leona is deeply committed to improving the lives of young people worldwide and especially those most vulnerable which of course includes adolescent girls.

Currently 90% of new infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa occur in girls. Leona’s role as ambassador to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation could not come at a more crucial moment in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We’re really looking forward to working with Leona throughout 2017 to raise awareness of HIV and the devastating impact it continues to have on millions of young people globally.”

Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation

AIDS is still the biggest killer of adolescents in Africa and the second biggest worldwide. In 2015 alone there were 2.1 million new infections and 7,500 women aged 15-24 became infected per week.

Young girls are being hit particularly hard by the epidemic – in sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of all new infections among adolescents occurred in girls. That’s why, within the 37 youth-led HIV organisations MTV Staying Alive is working with in 2017, we’re supporting some projects with a specific focus on women and girls.

Watch this space to see how Leona will be supporting us over the course of the year and fronting our partnership with Kiehl’s in 2017!

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