London, England (CNN) -- Lady Gaga has paid tribute to pop icon Cyndi Lauper as they join forces to raise HIV and AIDS awareness among women.
Gaga and Lauper told CNN's "Connect The World" women "need to put their foot down" in the bedroom.
"Cyndi is a lot of my inspiration," Gaga said, before relating how she and Lauper had met playing gay clubs in gay neighborhoods.
Lauper replied: "That's very sweet. You know I get inspired by her. I get inspired to remember myself."
Pop icon Gaga, who has enjoyed worldwide success thanks to songs such as "Poker Face," "Just Dance" and "Telephone" is known as much for her distinctive fashion sense and extravagant performances as she is for her music.
But she told CNN's Becky Anderson that she was surprised a viewer had asked her whether she wrote her own songs.
"People are asking that question?" queried Gaga. "I have written every single song I have ever sang and also produced a lot of the music."
Gaga and Lauper are on a mission, along with cosmetics giant MAC, to ensure women are tested for HIV and AIDS.
"This is not a gay disease, this is a disease plaguing women," said Gaga. "And I just want to clarify that. Because I think that's the very sort of pre-assumption, that women aren't getting tested and allowing negotiations to go on in the bedroom and are not putting their foot down."
Lauper added: "I lost a lot of friends in the eighties and nineties and it was a big heartbreak and I can't just stand by."
Gaga said that she had been a fan of MAC since she was young. "MAC is a lifestyle, it is sort of this place and Mecca near my house where I could be who I wanted to be and find myself as an individual."
She described being a role model to girls and young women as being not a burden but a privilege.
"I'm so blessed that I'm here," she said. "I'm absolutely not one of those people who's a self-obsessed, masturbatory artist who doesn't care about my fans or my effect on my fans. I have a very keen understanding of my effect or what I can do.
"And when you're in the public eye you're a role model whether you want to be or not. And I want to be."
But both women were evasive on a possible collaboration with another blonde icon -- Madonna.
"I don't know," said Lauper. "Who knows? You always keep it open."