Pop sensation Lady Gaga’s message to fans about the importance of safe sex has been welcomed by Australia’s peak AIDS organisation as she embarks on her first solo tour of Australia.

Earlier this month Gaga highlighted the importance of condom use and regular testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, specifically warning young women who underestimate the risks.

“We all know that having sex with a condom is a negotiation,” Gaga said, but choosing to have unsafe sex is like playing “Russian roulette.”
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) executive director Don Baxter said it was encouraging to see such a high profile role model taking a stand on the importance of safe sex.

“Lady Gaga’s comments are particularly valuable because they challenge the myth that HIV is a disease restricted to the gay community with her warning to young women that the disease poses an on-going risk in the heterosexual community as well ,” Baxter said.

“Globally HIV infections are still on the rise, and this has been the case in Australia over the last decade as well, although at lower rate.

“Increased HIV infections among Australians travelling overseas are very concerning, with many people taking more risks when holidaying, and often in countries where HIV is much more prevalent than in Australia.

“While extensive international efforts continue to improve treatments for HIV positive people, prevention is far better in the first place — so we can only hope Lady Gaga’s fans take heed of her warnings.”

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