In Honduras, Fighting HIV/AIDS Through Music And Theater

by Jens Erik Gould

 Mar 29, 2013 (Morning Edition) — The Afro-Caribbean people known as the Garifuna have a rich tradition of music, dance and storytelling much like their forebears. They also have another parallel to Africa: a severe HIV and AIDS epidemic. 
HIV in HondurasNolvia Cruz waits to be seen at an HIV/AIDS health clinic on Jan. 25 in La Ceiba. Nolvia is open about her diagnosis, but many people are afraid to go to the clinic for fear that someone they know will see them and gossip about their HIV status. (Pulitzer Center)
In the village of Corozal in Honduras, men ready boats for fishing excursions and boys play soccer on a beach lined with thatched huts.
On a sandy lot next to the town's main street, two teenage boys begin playing drums while women sing. For centuries, this has been the signature sound of celebration for the Garifuna, an Afro-Caribbean people on the Atlantic coast of Central America. Now this music has an additional purpose: to prevent HIV.
As people arrive to hear the drumming, the musicians become actors in a play. The plot centers on a court case: The Garifuna are putting HIV itself on trial.
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