A host of musical stars including Nelly Furtado, Kelly Rowland, Eve and Dave Navarro have urged young people to take part in National HIV Testing Day in America today (27JUN06).
Furtado is enjoying massive chart success with her single PROMISCUOUS and she hopes her risque material will encourage her young fans to ask questions about sex and take precautions to avoid contracting diseases.
She tells MTV, "When I was a little kid, Salt-N-Pepa's LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX came on the radio, and my mom was like, 'What's this?' And with my song PROMISCUOUS certain moms and dads are going to hear it and ask, 'What's this?' And kids are going to ask questions about sex. It can only encourage the conversation."
Rapper Eve adds, "In my perfect world, people would hear about this and go out and get tested. People would start talking about it and stop being scared."
Former DESTINY'S CHILD singer Rowland is still haunted by watching a close friend die of AIDS and urges fans to get tested so, if they are HIV positive, they can get treatment.
She says, "Somebody close to me was infected with AIDS, and I actually watched them die. That was painful to watch, and I think that once you see something like that, it definitely becomes real - it definitely becomes something that you want people to know about."
Jane's Addiction guitarist Navarro is grateful he has not contracted HIV because he had unsafe sex and shared needles in the 1980s when HIV was still a relatively unknown danger - and he urges young people to take action sooner rather than later.
He says, "You know, I've been through a lot of situations in my life where my behaviour put me at risk by intravenous drug use and unprotected sex.
"Especially starting out back in the late 1980s when awareness wasn't so great about this disease. But it was there, and we didn't know a lot about it. I've been saved by the grace of God, and for whatever reason, I'm still here.
"And if we're going to survive as a people, we need to share information. The coolest thing that you can do is get educated, get protected, get tested."