Gospel Performers to Encourage HIV/AIDS Testing Through Song
The Congressional Black Caucus, the U.S. Surgeon General and numerous gospel music artists are using music to encourage African Americans to get tested for HIV. Called "ONE VOICE: Gospel Artists Respond to AIDS," the effort includes a series of concerts scheduled for next year that are designed to address the AIDS epidemic and emphasize the importance of HIV testing and education. At each of the three concert sites, local HIV/AIDS organizations will work with gospel singers Dr. Bobby Jones, Edwin Hawkins, Kirk Franklin, Walter Hawkins, Richard Smallwood and Sandra Crouch to produce the shows. The Gospel Music Workshop of America and the Gospel Announcers Guild will also encourage radio show hosts to "educate their listening audiences about HIV/AIDS prevention and control." Dr. Eric Goosby, director of HHS' Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, said, "We are at a critical point in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. With an estimated one in 50 black men and one in 160 black women living with HIV, the time to act is now." He added, "We must get HIV-positive individuals into care and work harder to prevent the further spread of the disease." According to the CDC, 48% of AIDS cases reported between July 1999 and June 2000 were among African Americans. More than half of all new HIV infections are among African Americans (Balm in Gilead release, 11/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.