SAN DIEGO, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Pfizer
Company (NYSE: PFE), today launched "Fighting HIV through R&B," a novel HIV
testing program that offers free R&B concert tickets for those individuals who
get tested for HIV. The program will be available at participating community
clinics and AIDS service organizations nationwide.
The premiere Fighting HIV through R&B, concert features R&B icon Usher
performing at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on Saturday, May 18,
2002. This is one of over 100 R&B and hip-hop concerts for which Agouron will
offer tickets throughout 2002 and 2003. In total, Agouron will offer more
than 5,000 tickets for R&B and hip-hop concert tours featuring artists
including Patti LaBelle, Joe, DMX and Luther Vandross, in over 40 cities
"The Fighting HIV through R&B program is part of Agouron's ongoing
commitment to address the need for knowledge and intervention in the HIV
crisis, most critically in the African-American community," said Deborah
Wafer, Manager, Community Relations, Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "The
Fighting HIV through R&B tour brings individuals together -- to enjoy the
music of today's hottest R&B artists -- and to get tested and provide access
to community clinics and AIDS service organizations."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 800,000 to
900,000 people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV. Although African
Americans represent only 13 percent of the U.S. population, currently more
than half of all new HIV infections occur among African-Americans.
The Fighting HIV through R&B project -- created as a partnership between
Agouron and Tony Wafford, community advisory board chair for the HIV
Prevention Trials Network in Los Angeles -- began as a pilot program in
October, 2001 with the Luther Vandross "Take You Out" tour. The program,
which covered over 10 cities, resulted in more than 1,600 people being tested
for HIV throughout the United States.
"There remains a lot of stigma and misconception about HIV/AIDS within the
African-American community, which often creates an obstacle for individuals to
consider getting tested," commented Robert Scott, M.D., a Director at the AIDS
Project East Bay, in Oakland, CA. Educational programs such as Agouron's
Fighting HIV through R&B provide a unique motivation where individuals can
become educated about HIV and get tested without the stigma associated with
Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Pfizer Company (NYSE: PFE), is committed
to the discovery, development, and marketing of innovative therapeutic
products engineered to inactivate proteins that play key roles in cancer,
AIDS, and other serious diseases. Pfizer Inc discovers, develops,
manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and
animals, and many of the world's best known over-the-counter consumer brands.
For further information about Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Pfizer
Company, please see Agouron's website at http://www.agouron.com, or dial toll
free 1-888-VIRACEPT (847-2237).