BET brings HIV and STD teen forum to Syracuse
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Celebrities sat side by side with health experts at the Southwest Community Center for a forum about HIV and STDs put on by Black Entertainment Television, also known as BET.
The cable network conducts the free Rap It Up forums across the country in partnership with the Kaiser Health Foundation.
The programs included panel discussions with Onondaga County Health Commissioner Doctor Cynthia Morrow and R&B singer Sammy and was moderated by comedian Joe Clair.
Organizers of the event say there's power in using celebrities to get a very important message through to teens.
"They're so well known and they're stars. Young people tend to pay attention to that and because they can get their attention then they bring the message and people are inclined to listen to it and it's so important for young people to hear a clear and concise message," said Pamela McKenzie, FACES Client Services Case Manager.
The Rap It Up summit was brought to Syracuse with the help of the community organization FACES, which works to educate the community about AIDS and HIV.