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Merck & Co taps music industry for US HIV campaign

Pharma company to work with music promoter Maria Davis and Positive Women’s Network – USA

maria davis i design merck

Maria Davis

Merck & Co is to collaborate with a prominent music producer to help encourage HIV discussion among women in the US.

The pharma company will work with Maria Davis and HIV advocacy organisation Positive Women's Network – USA on its national campaign I Design to motivate women with HIV to 'vocalise' how they feel about their treatment plan and individual health needs.

There are more than 275,000 women living with HIV in the US, and a disproportionate number are African American. The company hopes that Davis, an African American music producer who was diagnosed with HIV in 1995, can have a positive influence on this group to open up about their condition.

“As an African-American woman living with HIV, it is critical for me to make sure my voice is heard in discussions with my healthcare team and I want to encourage other women living with HIV to do the same,” said Davis. “That is why I am proud to be part of the I Design campaign and lend my voice to help mobilise women.

Davis has experience in similar roles having used her position in the entertainment industry to educate communities about HIV through partnerships with organisations such as Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS and BET Rap it Up Community Service.

She is not the first public figure to have given their support to the I Design campaign. Merck has previously enlisted the help of Project Runway All Stars season one winner Mondo Guerra and HIV activist and photographer Duane Cramer.

The addition of Davis was backed by PWN-USA, a national membership body of women living with HIV.

The organisation's executive director Naina Khanna said: “Women living with HIV have unique needs and face specific challenges that healthcare providers should take into account. Community leaders like Maria Davis can help underscore the importance for women to amplify their voices in open conversations with their care providers.”

23rd July 2014

From: Marketing

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