BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Community members involved in the fight against AIDS and HIV were the first to see the premiere of a music video promoting a pill designed to help prevent the spread of HIV. Baton Rouge has one of the highest AIDS rates in the country.
A Baton Rouge artist is using his talent to promote the pill designed to lessen the risk of the illness. Michael A.V. Mitchell has d ropped a new Hip Hop beat. It is a fresh sound. It is catchy. The local artist said it is supposed to be.
"If we can infuse this message in the music, everyone will get it," Mitchell said.
The message is that there is a pill on the market, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, that, when taken daily, can lessen your risk of getting HIV. The drug is Truvada, also known as PrEP.
Mitchell said he came up with the idea for the music video last month after Eugene Collins, the director of prevention for the HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART), told him about the pill.
"This is a medically proven approach. It's safer than birth control. Statistically, it's over 90 percent effective. If we can get this medication out there, if we can get the word out about PrEP and PEP out there in the masses, this can change our city statistically, overnight," Collins said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Baton Rouge is second in the country for the highest rate of AIDS, fourth for HIV. HAART believes the music video is key in helping to improve those statistics.
"It gives us that reach we can attain, and we can get this out in the way. We need to get it out. We can maybe look forward to a day where we have no new cases," Mitchell said.
Mitchell encouraged community leaders and prevention advocates to share the music video on social media immediately to help spread the word.
"Maybe you're not affected in that area. You might not be sexually promiscuous or anything, but one of your friends may be. Get the message to them before it's too late," Mitchell said.
HAART has a clinic where people can get Truvada. It is located at 4550 North Blvd. #250. Call 927-1269 for an appointment.