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BET Networks' Award-Winning Rap-It-Up HIV/AIDS Campaign Returns to New York City for The Youth Empowerment Tour on November 13-16
Date:11/7/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- BET Networks' national HIV/AIDS public awareness initiative Rap-It-Up returns to New York City to host a series of celebrity health forums throughout New York City and Newark, N.J., to address the social issues, sexual behavior and attitudes impacting today's young adults; as well as the rise of HIV/AIDS in the urban community. Rap-It-Up is partnering with youth empowerment organization Hip Hop 4 Life and local radio station Hot 97 for the weeklong series of HIV/AIDS events taking place on Tuesday, November 13 through Friday, November 16.

The Rap-It-Up four-day tour will visit various local area high schools, including: Harlem's Bread and Roses High School; Newark, N.J.'s East Side High School; the Bronx Community High School; and Brooklyn's Erasmus High School. BET personality Alesha Renee will serve as forum moderator, and forum panelists will include: R&B singer Sammie; HIV/AIDS activist Marvelyn Brown; a local Hot 97 personality; and a local HIV/AIDS educator. There will be a meet & greet for high school students, as well as health materials and giveaways distributed to event attendees following the forums.*

The state of New York ranks #1 of the top 10 states with the most African Americans estimated to be living with AIDS. Today's disturbing statistics have shown that African Americans account for the most AIDS diagnoses, people estimated to be living with AIDS, and HIV-related deaths than any other racial group within the United States. Presently, African-American women account for 67 percent of new AIDS cases among women, and although African-American teens (ages 13-19) represent only 16 percent of U.S. teens, they accounted for 69 percent of newly reported AIDS cases in 2005.

To date, BET's Rap-It-Up campaign has tested more than 11,800 people nationwide for HIV infection; managed more than 1.1 million calls to the Rap- It-Up toll-free hotline; hosted community teen forums for more than 10,000 youth
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SOURCE BET Networks
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