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Ludacris Discusses AIDS Awareness Campaign During VOA Visit

Acclaimed rapper Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges visited VOA on World AIDS Day December 1, 2006. He was in Washington D.C. to promote shoemaker Aldo's "Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil " AIDS awareness campaign. The rapper-actor, who just released a new CD, Release Therapy, and recently appeared on NBC television's Saturday Night Live program, says he has been talking to youth between 18 and 24 about AIDS and HIV because that age group is particularly impacted by the disease. He says he became interested in the issue after a trip to Africa where he met many HIV-infected youth.

"I know this is a very serious issue," he said, "and I just want to become part of the solution."

Ludacris is also involved with the "Kick Me" campaign, which aims to promote HIV awareness through live, walking billboards - people walking around with AIDS awareness posters taped on their backs.

The rapper says he hopes to reach out to youth and encourage them to be tested for HIV during his U.S. tour.

" I'm here to save lives," he said, "and try to help people do as much as they can to help themselves."

Ludacris will perform on the Billboard Music awards December 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada.