Posted on | July 27, 2012 by Stefano Gennarini, J.D. |
The Lancet has launched a new frontier for homosexual activism with its latest series on the AIDS epidemic among homosexuals, calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality and the combating of homophobia through law, culture and in the provision of health services to MSMs, that is, men who have sex with men.
The lingo chosen by the Lancet was chosen no doubt because of its precision in describing the phenomenon at hand. Nevertheless, I would query whether the use of “males having sex with males” might have had a more clinical effect.
Homosexual behavior is inherently risky. This has been known for a very long time, and is an uncontested fact. Homosexuals are almost twenty times more likely than heterosexuals of becoming infected with HIV when they engage in sexual activity.
The focus in recent years has been on the cures and prevention strategies for HIV, most recently with the HPTN052 study on the effectiveness of anti-retrovirals for preventing the transmission of HIV. But, perhaps this undue focus on the cure and transmission of the virus was in need of some political spin, and the Lancet duly obliged.
The new series tries to highlight the structural risks created by homophobia. The health experts are now claiming that homophobia is a key driver of the HIV pandemic among men having sex with men. Hence, governments should change their laws to create special rights for men who have sex with men.
Well, some of the findings of the series are indeed alarming, and most are not new. But there are certainly no findings that would suggest that men having sex with men should be encouraged to continue doing so.
- The risk of becoming in infected with HIV for men who have sex with men is 1.4%, that is 18 times higher than the same risk for men having sex with women.
- New infections of HIV occur predominantly among men having sex with men. One presenter at the aids2012 conference described the risk of heterosexual youth becoming infected with HIV, compared to homosexuals, as less than that of being hit by a car.
- The known reasons for the increased risk of infection and actual infection rate among homosexuals is mostly biological. Anal sex is just deadly when it comes to the transmission of HIV. In addition, the homosexual population is doubly at risk because they have what is called “sexual role versatility”. In addition men having sex with men have a propensity to be more promiscuous than heterosexual men and women.
- If men having sex with men’s infection rate were the same as that of heterosexuals the number of infections would go down 80-90%.
- If all men having sex with men were provided the best health services available today their infection rates would only go down 25% over the next 10 yrs.
- Homosexual lifestyles are correlated with a host of other STDs and other health risks. The substance abuse and depression rates among homosexuals are truly alarming.
- There is no data, we are told, showing that the expansion of special rights to persons on the basis of their sexual and identity preferences has had any effect on the health of men who have sex with men. more research is needed.
The absence of any data showing positive changes speaks volumes about the positiveness/negativeness of the very fact of “men having sex with men”. Nevertheless, the health experts who have found a global audience through the Lancet, tell us that stigma and discrimination through laws, culture, “hegemonic masculinity”, and especially religious traditions, are killing young men.
Finally! Someone seems to have found a solution to the HIV epidemic among men having sex with men. Make them feel like its ok for men to have sex with men… Really?