Jazz-show organizers aim to bolster HIV/AIDS awareness in Northwest Philadelphia

 Performers from across the city will take the stage at Saturday's G-town Jazz on the Ave.  concert. The fundraiser kicks off a “Know Your Status Campaign” for HIV/AIDS awareness in Northwest Philadelphia. (Image courtesy of Bebashi)

Performers from across the city will take the stage at Saturday's G-town Jazz on the Ave. concert. The fundraiser kicks off a “Know Your Status Campaign” for HIV/AIDS awareness in Northwest Philadelphia. (Image courtesy of Bebashi)

Local nonprofit Bebashi-Transition to Hope and Cliveden will team up for a Saturday event blending calls for increased health awareness, fundraising and jazz in Germantown.

The G-town Jazz on the Ave. concert, featuring musicians and spoken-word artists from across the city from 5 to 8 p.m., serves as the official kickoff for Bebashi’s “Know Your Status Campaign” for HIV and AIDS awareness in Northwest Philadelphia.

Bebashi’s executive director, Gary James Bell, said he hopes the event will encourage people to think differently about how HIV affects local communities.

“One thing we encounter almost on a daily basis is people who think that because they don’t hear about it, HIV is not an issue. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said. “The idea was to have an event that brings people together in a different way. What better than jazz on a Saturday afternoon?”

Event details

The concert, which takes place at Cliveden’s museum and community center at 6401 Germantown Ave., will offer an array of local food and arts-and-crafts vendors.

Proceeds from ticket sales — $20 for adults and $10 for children, available online at www.cliveden.org  — will support Bebashi’s efforts to raise awareness about sexually transmitted diseases and other health-related issues, and Cliveden’s mission to preserve Germantown’s historic places.

Founded in 1985, Bebashi is a full-service HIV/AIDS case-management agency that provides sexual-health information and services in urban communities.

State Reps. Cherelle Parker and Stephen Kinsey are expected to attend and speak at a pre-concert news conference on Saturday. Bell said they have both supported Bebashi and its latest awareness campaign.

“They’ve also been concerned that there hasn’t been much of a focus on HIV in their districts,” Bell said. “So, they were both very willing to get involved.”

The Philadelphia Health Department estimates that there are as many as 30,000 people living with HIV in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

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