Jamaican Artists Support the
Fight against AIDS
Members of Jamaica's popular music
community have come out in support of the fight
against HIV/AIDS. The group, Artists against AIDS
chaired by Patrick "Tony Rebel" Barret,
has been working with UNICEF and The Ministry of
Health to promote abstinence and consistent condom
use among young people.
This summer through a project funded
by UNICEF, the group made an accompanying music
video to their song "Protect Prepare."
The song, which is aimed at encouraging sexually
active young people to use a condom, was recorded
about two years ago. However it has received very
little media attention.
Chairman Tony Rebel is hoping that
the video will bring the attention the song deserves.
"The song, even though it was recorded two
years ago, is still relevant and still sounds current."
He adds that it is also to be seen as an important
contribution made by the artists involved.
"What we are saying is that we recognize that
we have this instrument of influence and we want
to use it for this particular message. Our young
people must realize the risks involved with sex
and they must be educated and encouraged to make
the right choices."
As part of the UNICEF project, which
is being conducted in association with the Ministry
of Health's National HIV/STI Control Programme,
the song is being used as a teaching tool among
young people at selected summer camps across the
island. Several artists have also made special appearances
at the camps to further drive home the importance
of this issue to the youngsters.
Artists against AIDS, whose core membership
includes Pam Hall, Ibo Cooper and caberet singer
Sabrina Williams, is hoping to attract more members
who have a younger fan base. Beenie Man, Assassin
and Cecile are all being targeted to play a larger
role in the group.