Miami Herald (10.13.05) - Friday, October 14, 2005
Louis and Rosalia Curbelo of Fort Lauderdale, who married in
2004, decided to start a band last year. Louis was diagnosed
with HIV in 1987, and the couple wanted to make music with a
message. Their duo, Los Doctores ("The Doctors") sings about
AIDS prevention in salsa, Spanish hip-hop, and plena beats.
Louis and Rosalia have copyrighted 40 songs in English,
Spanish or both. Their songs have lyrics like, "Condom no
muerde, pero el SIDA si." ("A condom doesn't bite, but AIDS
The couple uses their music to help overcome barriers to HIV
testing and treatment within the Hispanic community. Among
those barriers are a belief that marriage is protective; the
macho idea that it is the woman's job to worry about safe sex;
the notion that HIV/AIDS affects only homosexuals; and limited
knowledge of how it is spread, according to Manuel Rodriguez,
program manager for HIV/AIDS Health Education at the Broward
County Health Department.
Maria Moreno, outreach coordinator for Center One, a Fort
Lauderdale-based AIDS nonprofit, said undocumented Hispanics
mistakenly believe their names will be turned over to the
authorities should they get tested. Moreno gave Los Doctores
their first gig, booking them for her weekly Hispanic support
group, and she offers practice space. Louis and Rosalia hope
to expand their local performances to nursing homes, schools,
and other venues. Of Puerto Rican descent, they hope one day
to play in New York's Puerto Rican Day parade and in Puerto
Rosalia, who is uninfected, is tested annually for the virus.
The couple's determination that she remain so is "why we keep
protecting ourselves," Rosalia said.