The CD launched at this month's International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada was put together by volunteer singers and producers and is called 'What Are We Living For.' The CD contains songs, which emphasize on hope, honesty and responsible behavior.
The executive director of the AIDS Responsibility Project, Abner Mason, said 'We produced the 12 track album with songs in the hip hop and R&B [rhythm and blues], and is targeted at young people who are most at risk for infection with HIV, but who are simultaneously harder to reach with traditional types of messages. Our view is that the challenge we face with HIV is so big that is going to require all segments of society to step up and take responsibility.'
Several of the singers who have taken part in this project have already had close encounters with HIV/AIDS. Chad Phipps, the rap singer says, 'I have friends who passed from HIV/AIDS related diseases, and I also had a cousin, but I am not too sure how she contracted it, because at the time it was like a new disease and nobody talked about it and everything got, like, swept under the rug.'
Pop and soul singer and a dance teacher, Katie Marino says, 'I work with high school students and is important for me to impact them.'
The Responsibility Project and A.R.P. Productions besides using the music CD are also using videos containing testimonials of volunteers and their Internet website 'arpproductions.com' to promote HIV-AIDS awareness.
The soundtrack of the music video says, 'It's cool to be smart. It's cool to be careful. It's cool to be aware of the possibility of contracting something. It's not cool to die young.'
The executive director of the AIDS Responsibility Project said that he hopes this is just the beginning and said, 'We hope very much to attract other artists. We hope other artists see what we're doing and see that they too can use their gift to fight HIV.'