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BET Networks’ Award-Winning Rap-It-Up HIV/AIDS Campaign Partners With City of Baton Rouge to Host a Women’s Health Conference On Tuesday, August 21


WASHINGTON.- BET Networks’ renowned national HIV/AIDS public awareness initiative, Rap-It-Up, partners with the Office of the Mayor’s HIV/AIDS Task Force of Baton Rouge for a Rap-It-Up Women’s Health Conference. The goal of the event is to raise HIV/AIDS awareness, as well as discuss and share vital information to the public about HIV prevention.

The Rap-It-Up Women’s Health Conference will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Baton Rouge River Center Exhibition Hall located on 275 S. River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. The health conference will be moderated by WVON radio personality and author Sharon K. McGhee, and will include conference panelists: R&B artist Lil Mo, motivational speaker Kemba Smith, AIDS Activists Denise Stokes and Dr. Timothy McNeil, Sr. among other local health educators.

BET Networks’ Rap-It-Up Campaign strives to educate young adults about the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in the Black community, and to also encourage and promote a positive and healthy lifestyle. Disturbing statistics presently rank the state of Louisiana twelfth among fifteen states with the most African Americans estimated to be living with AIDS, and ranks the state third among the fifteen states accounting for most new AIDS cases among African Americans according to a June 2007 Kaiser Family Foundation study.

Unfortunately, Black Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and overall, Blacks account for the most AIDS diagnoses, people estimated to be living with AIDS, and HIV-related deaths than any other racial group in the United States. Presently, African-American women account for 67 percent of new AIDS cases among women and although Black teens (ages 13 - 19) represent only 15 percent of the teen population, they accounted for 66 percent of newly-reported AIDS cases in 2003.

To date, BET’s Rap-It-Up Campaign has tested over 12,000 people nationwide for HIV infection; managed over 1.1 million calls to the Rap-It-Up toll-free hotline; hosted community teen forums for over 10,000 youth in over 33 U.S. cities; distributed over 400,000 sexual health information guides; and reached millions of viewers via HIV-related programming on the BET Network, including award-winning news specials, documentaries and public service announcements.


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