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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Speak Out About HIV’s 30/30 Project

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Apr 24, 2014

Singers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are putting their fame to good use, speaking out about the 30/30 Project, which aims to create worldwide healthcare facilities in communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. The charity was created by Lewis' mother, Julie.

A recent article in Rolling Stone outlines the unusual and very personal circumstances behind the charity.

"A huge part of what's made me who I am is something I haven't talked about in interviews... my mom, Julie Lewis," said Lewis on YouTube. He spoke about how his mother, at age 25, was infected with HIV via a blood transfusion in 1984.

Although Lewis and his sister weren't infected, their mother didn't find out she had HIV until the summer of 1990. Julie Lewis was only given a short time to live, but thirty years later, she's still here. Now, with the 30/30 Project, she aims to provide other people living with HIV/AIDS to the healthcare they need to stay alive.

To that end, she has launched a campaign with IndieGoGo to raise $100,000 by May 21. All donations will go directly to building medical facilities with help from Construction for Change. The project's immediate goal is to build five facilities, the first one in the African nation of Malawi staffed with healthcare providers from Partners in Health.

"I want to do something big," Julie says in the YouTube. "The 30/30 Project is that big idea. We believe that healthcare is a human right. We have the knowledge, and we have the treatments. Life-threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS can be managed. What people need is access."

Gifts are offered to campaign donors, from a signed Macklemore and Ryan Lewis vinyl copy of "The Heist," to VIP concert tickets, The New York Daily News reports. But helping PLWHAs get healthcare may just be reward enough.

"With this amazing past year that I've had, I'm honored to be the first donor to the 30/30 Project," says Ryan. "I'm hoping people will join me, and join my family's story, to see how far we can take this."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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