In an Instagram post on Wednesday (July 28), the “I’m Still Standing” singer released a statement condemning the rapper’s comments, and offering those following him some important information about HIV and AIDS, courtesy of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” John wrote. “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
During his set, DaBaby shouted to his fans, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up! Ladies, if your p—y smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up! Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d— in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up!”
In the caption of his post, John laid out a series of important facts, including that HIV has affected more than 70 million people globally, and that gay Black men in America have a 50% chance of contracting the virus in their lifetime due largely to “stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality.”
Perhaps in the most poignant critique of DaBaby’s comments, John also laid out the importance of understanding how HIV treatment has evolved to the point of being able to effectively bring a person’s viral load to undetectable levels, meaning the virus can no longer be transmitted to others. “You can live a long and healthy life with HIV,” he wrote. “Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can’t pass it onto other people.”
The photo John posted also contained a message for DaBaby and other artists who would comment in the way he did: “HIV misinformation and homophobia have no place in the music industry. We must break down the stigma around HIV and not spread it,” he wrote. “As musicians, it’s our job to bring people together.”
DaBaby walked back his comments about HIV and AIDS on Tuesday, though firmly held his ground on the remainder of his comments. “Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV, y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies,” he wrote. “But the LGBT community … I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. Y’all business is y’all business.”
Check out Elton John’s full statement on Instagram below: