Sex+Ed+with+Adina+Howard


Interview with Bobjohnson
May 7, 2010

Sex sells! Just ask Adina Howard. The Platinum-selling R&B artist and actress built a career around it. She owned the music charts in the mid-1990s with the hit songs "Freak Like Me" from her first album, Do You Wanna Ride?, and "T-shirt & Panties"  from her third album, The Second Coming. She also made her acting debut in the independent film High Freakquency.

But hidden behind all of the the sexually provocative songs and titles lies an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention. This was evident Friday, May 7 at the Dow Events Center as Howard reminded concert attendees to use condoms and get tested regularly. Howard, a Grand Rapids native, was the MC for the Kiss and Tell Tour that featured male R&B artists Tank and Ginuwine.

Bobjohnson: Adina Howard, tell me a little bit about tonight. How do you feel about yourself and the concert so far?

Adina Howard: I'm loving the show. There are two amazing entertainers on stage. I'm enjoying myself. It's very seldom I get to watch a show, so to be hosting tonight and actually be able to enjoy—I'm loving it.

Bobjohnson: You are doing a wonderful job hosting. Not only that, you are educating as well with the HIV/AIDS public service announcement.

Howard: Yeah I'm starting my non-profit organization called UCAP (Universal Community Advocacy Program). It deals with HIV and advocating for those whose voices aren't being heard but also bringing awareness to not only the youth and the young adults, but to senior citizens as well. HIV has jumped 10% in the senior citizen community. It is important to advocate for everyone and speak out and make sure that everyone understands that it is preventable.

Bobjohnson: We need more people like you who have a voice, to speak out and bring awareness to HIV/AIDS. What made you interested in that, Ms. "T-Shirt and Panties"?

Howard: Well, my former manager approached me about having a page on this Website called yourcause.com, and I didn't have a nonprofit organization that I was interested in representing at the time. I had gone to a hospital for children and I was like I would love to do that, but it was in the DC, or Baltimore, one of those areas. I couldn't get out there and do what really needed to be done.

My sister sent me a clip of the "trashman," and he was naming names off females that he intentionally infected. I just sat there, angry, stunned, sad. There were just so many emotions that came over me, and I was just like "that's it! That's what I need to do." At that moment, I began to do my homework. I came across a nonprofit organization in my area and volunteered to be on the board,  and you know, just took a great deal of interest in it, and learned a lot. We did free testing, and I make sure that I get tested every 3-6 months.

Bobjohnson: Wow, that was a great way to show initiative. Any upcoming projects?

Howard: What am I not doing? I'm working on a cookbook, working on the new album, working on some movie projects that will soon be coming, and soon will be doing some Broadway theater.

Bobjohnson: How can people get involved with your non-profit organization or just keep up with Adina Howard? Do you have a Facebook page, Twitter, Email that you would like to share?

Howard: I'm Adina Howard on myspace, and I don't do Twitter a great deal, but I'm Adina Howard on there as well at twitter.com/adinahoward.  I'm on Facebook all the time. I do daily doses and try to give people inspiration on a daily basis. Facebook will be the best way to reach me right now. If anyone wants to know anything, they can go to the fan page.

Bobjohnson: Adina Howard, thank you and it's been a pleasure.

Howard: It's been a blessing as well.

© Bobjohnson, 2010