Michael Crawford

BET Spices Up HIV Prevention

Filed By Michael Crawford | November 03, 2007 3:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media
Tags: BET, HIV/AIDS, sexual health

The powers that be at BET are stepping up their HIV prevention efforts with a new one hour special that will air on Monday night at 7:30pm EST. The program called How You Know 'Bout That: BET Rap-It-Up Sex Quiz Show will take a nitty-gritty look at sexual health from teen pregnancy to HIV in a quiz show style format.

This audience-based discussion show will not be your average, studio sexual education show that real teens would yawn through. It will be shot on sexy Miami Beach, the audience in bikinis and swimwear, with lots of star power and the look and feel of BET’s fly “Spring Bling” shows. We’ll have twenty-plus 18 to 24 year olds hanging out on a South Beach hotel pool deck. Our host, BET News presenter Jina Johnson, will pose quiz questions to them and, with the help of our sexual health expert, Dr. Rani Whitfield, elicit honest responses and explanations of the correct answers. This will lead to further discussion of the issues. The quiz questions will come courtesy of music stars such as Ciara, Lyfe Jennings, Mos Def, Common and Alicia Keys, in the form of pre-recorded drops.

This is all part of a campaign called Rap It Up that BET began in 1998 in partnership wit the Kaiser Family Foundation. Rap It Up includes full-length long form programming to reach young people with information about their sexual health with a special focus on HIV/AIDS. The shows range in style from teen summit-style forums hosted by celebrities that feature in-studio audiences with live discussion to documentaries that explore the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS has had on the African American community. The programming has reached an estimated 12 millions of viewers since its inception. After the jump is an example of a PSA BET created to encourage young African-Americans to get tested for HIV.

This campaign is particularly important because even though African-Americans only make up 13% of the American population, we comprise 37% of Americans with AIDS. In fact, 50% of new cases of HIV infection are reported among Black Americans.

To get a jump on the program, take the What You Know 'Bout That? Sex Quiz.

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That's great that the BET is putting this together. I hope it's effective!

The campaign of Rap It Up is a very famous one. Many of the members at pozgroup dot com, which is an anonymous trusted community for people living with hiv/aids, say they learn much from that campaign.