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HAMP Fest Benefit 

Trombone Shorty, Kermit Ruffins, the Rebirth Brass Band and Dee-1 headline the HIV Awareness Music Project's (HAMP) New Orleans World AIDS Day benefit from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 1 at the Howlin' Wolf

  Intended to raise funds for the New Orleans HIV/AIDS service organizations, the HAMP Fest seeks to foster education efforts and community involvement to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, boosting prevention measures and increasing local resources to fight the disease. Proceeds will benefit local HIV/AIDS clinics and nonprofit agencies through the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Commission (NORAPC). Some beneficiaries include the NO/AIDS Task Force, Brotherhood Inc., Belle Reve, St. John No. 5 Faith Church and N'R Peace Inc.

  The need for HIV/AIDS awareness is especially apparent in the Crescent City. With more than 6,500 people living with HIV/AIDS in the metropolitan area, New Orleans ranks second in AIDS case rates among the country's large metropolitan areas.

  "There is no vaccine. There is no cure," says T.J. Rogers of the NO/AIDS Task Force, which will provide free HIV testing at the concert. "We have seen things work by educating people, and that's the most important thing." — Aariel Charbonnet

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