Last weekend, rapper DaBaby performed at Rolling Loud. Despite the controversy he started when he brought Tory Lanez on stage — which broke Megan Thee Stallion’s protective order against Lanez— he continued and ended his set with a homophobic rant.
DaBaby asked the audience to put their cell phone lights up “if you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS, any of them deadly sexually-transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in 2-3 weeks.”
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he didn't stop there. He also spewed misogynistic comments claiming “ladies if your p**** smells like water, put a cell phone light in the air” and more homophobic rhetoric, “fellas if you ain’t sucking d*** in the parking lot,” and so on.
As to not give DaBaby anymore of my article’s word count, I am going to discount and explain why his comments are misinformed, purely ignorant, and some fault lies in the American sex ed system.
HIV is not a death sentence, and you are not going to die in two to three weeks if you contract it. HIV is an autoimmune virus that attacks the immune system. Despite many education systems claiming that it is mainly a “gay sex” disease, this is far from the point, as many individuals who have tested positive have been men, women and children.
Another myth that people still seem to spread is that HIV lives in saliva, urine, etc., but that is far from the truth. HIV does not spread outside the body, it does not live in toilets, in bathrooms, or anywhere like this. It spreads through unprotected sexual contact, the sharing of needles and blood transfusions.
Lastly, it’s time for the shame around being HIV positive to end. In recent years, many celebrities have broken their silence around testing positive. Billy Porter is one of the most notable celebrities who has lived with HIV for 14 years before sharing his diagnosis in an essay to The Hollywood Reporter.
“There's no more stigma — let's be done with that,” Porter wrote. “It's time. I've been living it and being in the shame of it for long enough.”
Besides being knowledgeable about STIs and the importance of having safe sex as students, it’s also important to recognize that individuals who are HIV positive can have sex… which might come as a shock to some people. WebMD says the first step to being safe while HIV positive is making sure that you are on some kind of treatment or medication. There’s also ART, or antiretroviral therapy, and of course continuing to wear condoms for all parties. Being honest with your sexual partners is also key.
DaBaby’s ignorant comments not only reflect the issues of American sex ed but also highlight how he made these claims to a group of impressionable fans. The HIV/AIDS crisis was not so long ago and spewing this misinformation to an audience only increases the stigma.
As students, it is important that we use the resources available on campus. All of these places allow for students to seek testing, information, protection, and practically anything needed for safe sex. To end the homophobic discourse and shame around HIV and being HIV positive, it is critical that we all educate ourselves about sex and be a little more mature about these discussions.
Yeah. I’m talking to you, DaBaby!