2 Chainz Turned His ‘Trap House’ Into a Free HIV Testing Center
It’s a big statement in a city with one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the country.
A hot pink house with a hot pink sports car parked out front and the word “trap” spray-painted above the door might not seem like the place for a community outreach program. But yesterday, that’s exactly what it was.
On Tuesday afternoon, rapper 2 Chainz turned his “Trap House,” an Atlanta-based installation he’s used to promote his new album “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music,” into an HIV testing facility, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The “Trap Clinic,” as it was called, offered free HIV testing, along with educational information, giveaways, and fun and games, the Atlanta-based rapper wrote in an Instagram post.
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Chainz partnered with the Fulton County Board of Health, Atlanta AIDS and Test Atlanta to provide the free testing and bring awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Atlanta area.
Throughout the US South, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is far higher than in other parts of the country. A study by the Big Cities Health Coalition found that the HIV diagnosis rate in Atlanta was five times the national average.
Another study, done at Emory University, found that these rates were far higher for gay and bisexual men of color than for whites.
“It is clear that the major drivers of HIV infection are poverty, unemployment, lack of education and health insurance,” Carlos del Rio, a professor of global health and medicine at Atlanta’s Emory University told Emory Magazine. “If you add stigma, discrimination, and racism, you have a perfect milieu for high HIV rates.”
For his part, Chainz has been working to address some of these underlying structural issues.
Days earlier, on Sunday, the rapper worked with a local pastor to turn the “Trap House” into a “Trap Church,” in order to bring awareness to the links between drug abuse, health, and poverty. Holding this event at a trap house, a term used to describe a location for selling and cooking up drugs, took on an added layer of significance.
“We can't listen to the music without really addressing the systemic issues and the systematic oppression that causes the trap to even exist and so that's the reason we pulled together 'Trap Church,'” Pastor Michael Wortham told Fox 5 Atlanta.
The community event, he said, was a way “to really to talk about the other side of the trap, to talk about how we as a community have a responsibility to come together and help our brothers and sisters who are facing these tough situations.”
I remember when we didn't have hot water and I didn't want my friends to know , so I told them it was something wrong with that bathroom and they couldn't use my mommas, i remember using the oven to heat the house , I would stand in the kitchen for hours to stay warm . I remember waiting until the water co. Close at 5 ,so we could use a tool and turn the water back on until 6 am , I remember going to sleep hungry , i remember a long ass extension chord coming from the neighbors house to mine to borrow they're lights ,I remember stealing cable , cars , clothes etc, no matter how much pain I endured I smiled on the outside , it was my defense mechanism. I remember 🙏🏿
Others in the community, however, weren’t sold on Chainz’s project.
“Much love to 2 Chainz, his movement and the culture, but if you’re taking photos in front of a trap house you haven’t seen the damage it can do to a community,” Pastor Al Hollie Jr. said.
This wasn’t the first time Chainz got involved in giving back to the local community. In 2015, the rapper helped a disabled veteran pay her rent for a year, using the proceeds from his “Dabbing Santa” sweater sales. In 2016, he provided clothes to homeless veterans in the Atlanta area.
All the while, Chainz has not forgotten the poverty he grew up in.
“I remember going to sleep hungry,” he wrote in an Instagram post in 2015. “I remember stealing cable, cars, clothes etc, no matter how much pain I endured I smiled on the outside.”