Black celebs to test for HIV for awareness

June 22, 2007 at 4:27 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 22 (UPI) -- Some of Hollywood's heavy hitters will be screened for HIV in front of cameras Monday to raise awareness of stopping the spread of HIV in black communities.

The "1 in a Million" campaign seeks to get 1 million African-Americans screened for HIV by Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, a news release said.

Black actors, the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Artists for a New South Africa and the Black AIDS Institute will participate in the event, preceding National HIV Testing Day Wednesday, at SAG's Los Angeles headquarters.

"AIDS in America today is a black disease. Nobody wants to talk about that and nobody wants to own that. That silence is killing us," said Phill Wilson, Black AIDS Institute executive director.

Celebrities include Jimmy Jean-Louis of "Heroes"; Hill Harper, "CSI: New York"; Anne-Marie Johnson, "JAG"; Rockmond Dunbar, "Prison Break"; Vanessa Williams, "Soul Food"; Howard Hesseman, "Boston Legal"; Henry Simmons, "Shark"; and Regina King, "24."

"Our hope ... is that African-Americans and others will see what we are doing here ... and take the time to both get tested for HIV and to talk with their families," said Alan Rosenburg, SAG President.

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