Atlanta-based rap star Ludacris is using his fame to enter a new level of raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.
The rapper, along with actor/comedian/singer Jamie Foxx have teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote I know, a recently launched social media effort set up to encourage dialogue about the disease among African-Americans ages 18 to 24. Increased focus on HIV testing as well as condom use and ways to reduce risk of HIV infection such as abstaining from sexcompromise the focus of discussion as well as facts about HIV transmission and ways to reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter will play an active role in the I know effort. The I know Facebook (www.facebook.com/iknow) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/iknow_talkhiv) pages will provide news items and opportunities for users to interact with each other and the CDC about HIV, in addition to links to information about HIV testing and prevention.
Ludacris and Foxx are among a group of celebrities and African-American leaders and organizations who will utilize their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to increase participation in I know. Text messaging will also be used to provide updates on I know activities, information about HIV testing opportunities, and video messages from celebrities and youth advocates.
As part of the initiative, Foxx and Ludacris will emphasize the importance of talking about HIV via a series of radio and online video public service announcements.
HIV isnt his problem or her problem. Its all of our problem, the rapper stated in his PSA. The facts are clear. African-Americans, especially young people are being devastated by HIV and AIDS. But there is something we can all do about it. We can and must talk about HIV. So break the silence by having a conversation. Send a text. Update your status. Post this video. Talk about HIV and what we can do to prevent it. Ludacris involvement in the I know project comes amid troubling findings regarding African American youth and HIV. According to the CDC, African-Americans age 13 to 29 years in the United States account for half of all new HIV infections in that age group. Young black gay and bisexual men are especially affected, representing more than half (55 %) of new infections among African-Americans 13-29.For details on Act Against AIDS and I know, visit www.actagainstaids.org.