Monday, November 22, 2004

Reggae stars 'fuel spread of HIV'

Homophobic lyrics prevent people from coming forward for tests
Sarah Boseley, health editor
Monday November 22, 2004
The Guardian

Dancehall reggae musicians are fuelling the spread of HIV/Aids in the Caribbean and the UK by their homophobic lyrics, a government minister will say today.

Gareth Thomas, minister for international development, will be speaking in St Kitts after Tony Blair was asked for help by Caribbean leaders, who are concerned that homophobia is preventing people from being tested for what is stigmatised in their communities as a gay men's disease. Mr Thomas will aim his comments at reggae stars such as Buju Banton, who has been criticised for allegedly inciting the murder of gay men, and Sizzla, who was banned from performing in the UK.

Image Hosted by

In June, the Jamaican gay rights leader Brian Williamson was stabbed to death. Crowds gathered outside his home, singing in the street to celebrate his murder. HIV/Aids is spreading faster in the Caribbean than anywhere else in the world except sub-Saharan Africa, with a prevalence rate of 2.3% infected and 3% in some countries, such as Haiti. The numbers are relatively small as yet - 430,000 people live with the virus - but are expected to soar if nothing is done.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home