Entertainment

The AIDS journey continues

Jamaica-born artiste releases new track about unprotected sex

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Sunday, December 01, 2019

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SINGER JoJo Mac had no hesitation to record Dumb Luck when co-writers Roger Meltzer and Ardie Wallace presented it to her last summer. Released in October, the song addresses the dangers of unprotected intercourse.

The Philadelphia-based artiste is baffled that nearly 40 years after the AIDS virus surfaced, killing hundreds of people including celebrities, that that has not stopped people from living on the edge.

“I am surprised people are still having unprotected sex because there is so much information at our fingertips to educate us on the possible consequences of that practice. On top of that, there is so much nastiness that people are engaging in, we should all want to wrap our entire body in latex,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Dumb Luck is distributed by Capsicum Records, a Hartford, Connecticut independent company owned by Meltzer. Wallace is a leading promoter of reggae shows in that city. JoJo Mac (real name Joan McKenzie) is originally from Clarendon.

Since launching her recording career 25 years ago, she has recorded four albums and numerous singles for producers such as Clement “Coxson” Dodd and Duckie Simpson of Black Uhuru.

She toured as a member of Black Uhuru for two years. JoJo Mac migrated to the United States during the early 1980s, a time when HIV/AIDS emerged, mainly in the gay community.

Because many of its victims were homosexual, like Hollywood actor Rock Hudson, the initial belief was that the disease was restricted to persons in same sex relationships.

The 1991 revelation that basketball superstar Magic Johnson was infected with HIV after having sex with multiple women helped change that perception significantly.

A number of recognised studies reveal that most people know someone who has died from, or is living with, HIV/AIDS — JoJo Mac included.

“I knew a couple people who died of AIDS; male and a female. It's sad, we have to better protect ourselves. because it's foolish not to,” she said.

According to UNAIDS — the joint United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS — there were 40,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica in 2018.

Last year, 1,500 persons in the country died from the disease; there were also 2,400 new cases reported.


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