Last week, for World Aids Day, Shedoesthecity spent time at the L’Oreal Academy for a L’Oreal Hairdressers against AIDS event that paired local bloggers with local hairdressing students to talk about AIDS prevention and how we, as young Canadians, can help spread awareness. It came as a shock to discover that the number of HIV+ individuals in Canada is growing; Metro Morning reported that 1 in 120 Torontonians is living with HIV+. For a disease that is so preventable, this is a staggering statistic. What’s even more alarming is that 33 million people worldwide are currently afflicted and 17% don’t know it.

Last Thursday also marked the 30th year since the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in the USA and the 10th anniversary of L’Oreal’s partnership with UNESCO with Hairdressers Against Aids. With an enormous international network, L’Oreal realised that they could help spread awareness and prevention messaging by incorporating HIV and AIDS instruction into their education program. The result is that 1.3 million hairdressers worldwide have been equipped with facts and knowledge to further disseminate to their social and professional networks; it’s a smart campaign.

So, what were we doing? As part of the Hairdressing Against Aids World Aids Day event, we were teamed up with a group of L’Oreal students and asked to make a short video using an iPad 2. Now, truth be told, none of us had ever used one and with limited time, it’s not the best video in the world but it did give us an opportunity to roam the Toronto Eaton Centre and engage with shoppers about the day, open discussion and help spread awareness. It was fun, illuminating and for one day this year our minds were totally devoted to discussing AIDS. Given the current state of things, we should probably be discussing it a lot more, all of us. Check out our video here, and bear in mind we had about forty minutes to do this. For a far more compelling video, check out this one by L’Oreal.