The Black AIDS Institute has hit upon a media savvy way to draw attention to the AIDS epidemic in Black America on National HIV Testing Day (Monday June 25th): have Black celebrities and their allies take HIV tests at a public press conference and call for 1 million African Americans to get tested by December 1, 2008. According to the press release from BAI:
Those who plan to attend and publicly take an HIV test at the press conference include: Jimmy Jean-Louis (“Heroes”), Regina King (“Ray,” “Jerry McGuire,” “24”), Hill Harper (“CSI New York”), Rockmond Dunbar (“Prison Break,” “Heartland”), Meagan Tandy (Miss California USA 2007), Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food”), Sheryl Lee Ralph (“ER,” Original “Dreamgirls” on Broadway), Hosea Chanchez (“The Game”), Angie Stone (recording artist), Anne-Marie Johnson (“CSI,” “JAG”), Darius McCrary (“Transformers,” “Family Matters”), Sandi McCree (“The Wire”), Ovie Mughelli (Atlanta Falcons), Isaac Keys (Arizona Cardinals); Henry Simmons (“Shark”), Tatyana Ali (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), Samaki Walker, Rob Sommers and Deandre Walker (NBA), Jennifer Lewis (“Shark,” “Girlfriends”), Alexandra Paul (“Baywatch”), Vida Guerra, Earl Cole (Winner, “Survivor: Fiji”); Howard Hesseman (“Boston Legal,” “WKRP in Cincinnati”), Beverly White (NBC reporter). Author/journalist Gil Robertson will sign copies of his book Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community.
This public action is part of a Black AIDS Mobilization sponsored by a host of non-profit organizations such as Black AIDS Institute, The Balm in Gilead, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and others to end the AIDS epidemic in Black America by 2012 by:
- Cutting HIV rates in Black America by 50%
- Increasing the number of Black Americans who know their HIV status by 50
- Increasing the number of Black Americans in appropriate early care/treatment by 50%
- Reducing HIV/AIDS stigma In Black America by 50%
Go ahead, BAM!