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UPDATE: BET's Rap-It-Up Sponsors Celebrity Teen Forum & Block Party During Magic Johnson's 18th Annual 'A Midsummer Night's Magic' in LA, July 24 - 27.

LOS ANGELES Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , July 18 /PRNewswire/ -- BET's Rap-It-Up campaign, an award- winning national HIV/AIDS public awareness initiative, joins a prestigious lineup of sponsors to support Earvin "Magic" Johnson's 18th Annual "A Midsummer Night's Magic" to be held in Los Angeles, July 24 - 27. In keeping with the network's goal to raise awareness of the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in the African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race.  community, Rap-It-Up will host a celebrity teen forum and conduct HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.  testing for game tickets during Magic's Block Party.

Since its launch in November 1998, BET's Rap-It-Up Campaign has tested over 4,000 people nationwide; managed over 760,000 calls via the Rap-It-Up toll-free hotline; hosted community teen forums for over 2,300 youth; and reached millions of viewers via HIV-related programming, including award- winning news specials, documentaries and public service announcements.

"Young people account for half of all new HIV infections. If we are to curb this disturbing trend, we must arm our youth with all the information necessary to make smart, informed choices," said Sonya Lockett, BET's Director of Public Affairs Those public information, command information, and community relations activities directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in the Department of Defense. Also called PA. See also command information; community relations; public information. . "Rap-It-Up utilizes a variety of resources including corporate partnerships, community forums and special programming to ensure the message of HIV prevention is effectively disseminated."

Kicking off the series of BET-sponsored events during the "Midsummer Night's Magic" weekend is a Rap-It-Up teen forum moderated by BET's own Joe Clair and Tiffany on Saturday, July 26 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel (all events are pacific time). Opening the forum will be NBA great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who will speak to high school and college-bound students from Magic Johnson's Life Skills program; Inglewood's First Church of God; and the West Angeles Church.

Medical expert Dr. Theresa McGilbray will join a celebrity panel to discuss social issues affecting teens, including the rise of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. Celebrity panelists include actress Megan Goode (Deliver Us From Eva); Kareem Rush Kareem Lamar Rush (born October 30, 1980 in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American professional basketball player positioned at shooting guard currently under contract with the Indiana Pacers.  of the LA Lakers; Indiana Pacers' Jonathan Bender Jonathan Rene Bender (born January 30 1981 in Picayune, Mississippi) is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA.

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On Sunday, July 27 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Rap-It-Up will conduct HIV testing for game tickets in partnership with the Aids Healthcare Foundation The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a non profit, Los Angeles-based AIDS treatment and advocacy center. Their official founding pledge is to "provide cutting-edge medicine and advocacy, regardless of ability to pay.  outside of the Los Angeles Staples Center. Individuals who take the health test will receive a ticket to attend Johnson's celebrity and all-star basketball games.

Following is a schedule of BET-sponsored events during Magic Johnson's "A Midsummer Night's Magic" July 24 - 27, 2003 (all events are pacific time):
  July 26  BET's Rap-It-Up Teen Forum
           Featuring guest speaker Magic Johnson, BET hosts a youth forum
           moderated by BET's Joe Clair and Tiffany. The celebrity forum
           will address a variety of teen-related issues focusing on
           HIV/AIDS in the African-American community.  The event will start
           at Noon in the LaJolla Ballroom at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton
  July 27  "Testing for Tickets" for Magic's Celebrity & All-Star Charity
           BET's Rap-It-UP will partner with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation
           to conduct HIV testing for tickets.  Individuals who take the
           health test will receive a ticket to attend both Magic's
           celebrity game featuring such personalities as Ashton Kutcher,
           Frankie Muniz, Morris Chestnut, Snoop Dogg and Flex Alexander;
           and the all-star game with NBA players including LA Lakers' Gary
           Payton, Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce, Portland Trailblazers' Bonzi
           Wells and NBA rookies LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.  HIV
           testing will take place from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. outside of
           the Staples Center on Chick Hearn Court and South Figueroa
           Magic's Block Party
           Hot rapper Fabolous*, hip-hop diva Lil' Mo* and others are
           guaranteed to burn up the "BET on Wheels" mobile soundstage
           during live concerts from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. outside of the
           Staples Center on Chick Hearn Court.  Concert goers can also
           partake in games, food, and product sampling from a variety of
           vendors such as Lincoln, MBNA Credit Card Corporation, Sketchers,
           and Hewlett Packard's interactive computer mobile.  Local radio
           stations, KJLH, Power 106, 92.3, and 100.3 The Beat will also be
           on hand to hype the crowd.
           *Talent subject to change
  Media Opportunities:
           Rap-It-Up Teen Forum, Testing for Game Tickets and Magic's Block
           Party; interview and photo opportunities with celebrity
           panelists, BET Talent, Performing Talent and Rap-It-Up

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or, and the Magic Johnson Foundation event hotline at 888-MAGIC-05.

For information on obtaining media credentials for additional "A Midsummer's Night Magic" events, please contact Alescia Buford & Associates at 818.995.6545 or email requests to

Since 1998, BET and the Kaiser Foundation have partnered to educate the African-American community on sexual health issues, reaching millions of viewers and generating more than 760,000 calls to the campaign's toll-free information and referral line (1-866-RAPITUP). "Rap It Up," an award-winning HIV/AIDS awareness campaign launched in 2000, includes special on-air programming, targeted public service announcements (PSAs) and extensive print, online ( and referral resources. Callers to the toll-free line can also request an informational booklet on sexual health. Black Entertainment Television (BET), a subsidiary of Viacom, is the nation's leading 24-hour television network providing quality entertainment, news and public affairs programming
For other uses of "public affairs", see public affairs (disambiguation)
Public affairs programming, a broadcasting industry term, refers to programming which focuses on matters of politics and public policy.
 for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 75 million households according to Nielsen media research.

CONTACT: Lyntina Townsend of BET (Black Entertainment Television), +1-202-608-2745, or

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 18, 2003
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