Deborah Cox Breaks the Silence on HIV Awareness

By: Brandon Voss
3.6.2013

Is there a chart-topping R&B-dance diva we adore as much as Miss Deborah Cox? Absolutely not!

Currently on tour performing in the Broadway-bound musical Jekyll & Hyde opposite American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis, the Grammy-nominated singer found time to chat with HIV Plus about why she's chosen HIV awareness as her charitable mission in life.

Cox has joined forces with the Break the Silence campaign, which works to bring HIV back into the national conversation.

“Did you know that a woman tests positive for HIV every 35 minutes in this country? It’s the leading cause of death for black women ages 25 to 34, and we make up for 66% of the new cases of HIV,” Cox says in her Break the Silence PSA, which you can watch below. “I was shocked when I learned of this recently, because I thought for sure that with all the information that’s out there, for as long as we’ve been talking about this, that we would have been moving in a different direction. But instead women are at a greater risk. I’m Deborah Cox and I’m a mother and I was a friend to three beautiful souls who have passed away from HIV.”

Cox's first experience with AIDS, the experience that cemented her commitment to the cause, was when a gay friend of hers succumbed to the disease after being abandoned by many of his religious friends and family.

“A big part of it was that he was African-American and in the closet and had just come out, not only about being gay but also about being HIV-positive,” she tells the magazine. “There’s still a huge stigma in the African-American community about being gay. There are still a lot of people living in shame because they lose their family, they lose everyone who once supported them... When people find out they’re alone, that contributes to the illness too. When you don’t have that emotional support it’s a downward spiral. That’s what happened to my friend. I never want to see that again.”

For the full interview, visit HIVPlusMag.com.

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