The 31-year-old singer has faced criticism from members of the LGBTQ+ community, some of whom have accused Ocean of attempting to “rewrite history” by re-imagining New York’s night club scene as if the drug had existed in the 1970s and 1980s.
In a lengthy message posted on Tumblr, he wrote: “Club culture around late 70s and 80s nightlife in NYC was a special, much talked about and written about thing. From the star studded midtown clubs like studio 54 and the first danceteria to the downtown clubs like Mudd + paradise garage. The figures, the music, the looks, the lack of regulation haha. I recognize NY wasn’t all lasers and disco lighting and that simultaneously, there was a lot of crime and poverty and that a huge part of club culture, the gay community, at that time were being wiped out by HIV + AIDS.
“Now in 2019, there’s a pill you can take every day that will at a better than 90% chance prevent you from contracting HIV. This pill was approved by the FDA in 2012…the fact remains that despite price being a very real barrier to this potentially life saving drug for some, the other very real barrier is awareness.
“I decided to name, what was otherwise going to be a night of lights and music inspired by an era of clubbing that I loved PrEP+ because…I started to imagine in an era where so many lives were lost and so much promise was lost forever along with them, what would it have been like if something, anything had existed that in all probability would’ve saved thousands and thousands of lives. (sic)”