WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (RNS)--Award-winning gospel artists have joined forces to produce a CD to raise awareness in African-American churches about AIDS.

The CD is part of a "One Voice: Gospel Artists Respond to AIDS" campaign that has been supported by U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"Our church has AIDS," said the Rev. Yvette Flunder, a gospel artist and leader of the campaign, at a recent news conference in Washington. "Our church has to respond to this epidemic, but it won't happen until we grab hold of this issue."

Grammy Award winners Richard Smallwood, Edwin Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, Kirk Franklin, and Andrae Crouch are involved in the project, along with Black Entertainment Television gospel host Bobby Jones, The Washington Post reported.

The song "One Voice" will be released on CD in the spring, around the same time that artists plan to encourage people to get tested for HIV infection during a series of concerts scheduled for Chicago, Washington, and Los Angeles.

Satcher welcomed the efforts to draw attention to the high percentage of African-Americans who have AIDS.

"If you look at the new AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control last year, 47 percent were African-Americans," he said. "If you look at the new HIV infections, African-Americans represent well over 50 percent."

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