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13 Moments in Black Celebrity HIV/AIDS Activism

February 7, 2013



Female Hip-Hop Trio TLC Puts on Condoms -- on Top of Their Clothes (1992)

Watch the video for "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" and you'll see that TLC was up-front and in-your-face about AIDS awareness. They were known for some pretty outrageous outfits, mostly baggy and boldly-colored. But, in the early '90s, they began to pin condoms to their outfits -- and member Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes often wore a condom behind the left lens of her glasses. In 1992, Lopes told the LA Times: "Kids listen to performers and we have a duty to give them certain critical information. We wanted something eye-catching, so when kids see the condoms, they ask why do we wear condoms and talk about condoms? That brings up the issue of safe sex. The point is to make condoms something kids aren't afraid of or ashamed of." Lopes passed away in a car accident in Honduras in 2002. The two remaining group members, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, launched "Dialogues: Education and Treatment for a Well-Planned Future," an HIV/AIDS education effort.

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