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Rapper Comes Under Fire for His Comments About the Down Low

September 15, 2011

American rapper and actor Game claims that he "don't have a problem with gay people," just the ones in the closet, or "on the down low." Last week, during an interview with VladTV, the Compton-born rapper expressed his concern with closeted gays spreading HIV to unsuspecting women. He said, "Game has a problem with people that are pretending not to be gay but are gay because the No. 1 issue with that is that you could be fooling somebody and you could give them AIDS and they can die."

Yet another celebrity in the long line of believers of the myth about men on the down low spreading HIV.

Colorlines reported:

Game is part of an industry that readily spreads homophobic lyrics and so he was praised when he joined the likes of Russell Simmons and Kanye West who have openly and fearlessly said they accept gays and lesbians.

But the words that came after Game's support for gays is where he does more harm than good.

He was referring to so-called "down-low" men -- or, black men who sleep with men while identifying as straight and having sex with women, too. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [have] found no evidence that they are responsible for high HIV rates among Black women.

Game went on to do an interview with TMZ, to set the record straight. When asked if he meant closeted gay men are a special risk in society, Game answered:

That's definitely what I said. And I didn't mean all closeted men. I'm just saying there are some men out there who make it worse on people -- men and women -- when you're hiding your homosexuality. You can just be gay and be cool, that way you give people the option whether they want to deal with you in that manner, sexually, because that type of stuff is kind of ruining the world and it's really not cool that people are hiding stuff. And I'm not necessarily saying that everybody who hasn't come out the closet has AIDS. How would I even make that [assessment]? I can't do that. So it's just based on my opinion.

Ultimately, Game agreed that everybody is a potential risk for HIV and other STDs, and that you should take precautions and use protection for whomever you sleep with, which is probably the stance he should have taken from the very beginning.

Watch Game's original VladTV interview here:

Watch Game's follow-up interview with TMZ:

Warren Tong is the research editor for and

Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.

Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by TheBody.

See Also's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV
More on HIV and the "Down Low"

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