Black Media Unite for AIDS Prevention Campaign
January 17, 2003
A coalition of black print, broadcast and Internet media on Thursday announced a massive campaign to prevent the growing spread of AIDS among African Americans.Adapted from:
Valued at more than $5.7 million in airtime and other costs, the multiyear campaign includes cover-blurbed articles in the February issues of nine magazines, an eight-part series to run during Black History Month in the 200 newspapers of the National Newspaper Publishing Association, programs on Black Entertainment Television, a Web site at www.blackaids.org and radio public service announcements.
Called the Drumbeat Project, the campaign is "designed for 100 percent penetration of the African-American market," said Jerry Lopes, president of program operations and affiliations at American Urban Radio Network and one of the speakers Thursday at Manhattan's Overseas Press Club. Messages will run on his network's 400 affiliates, he said, and be distributed to "every black station in America."
More than 50 percent of new AIDS cases in the United States are in the black community; 64 percent of new cases among women involve blacks; and AIDS is the leading cause of death for black men ages 25- 44, said Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, which organized the Black Media Task Force on AIDS. "We are diagnosed later in the course of the disease ... and die faster," said Wilson, who has been affected by HIV/AIDS for 23 years.
Many black women are in denial about the infection, according to Amy DuBois Barnett, editor-in-chief of Honey, and Shani Saxon, executive editor of Vibe. "We're fighting for our lives here," said Barnett.
Newsday (New York)
01.17.03; Aileen Jacobson