Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ads on METRO #8: AIDS in Metro D.C.

The Whitman-Walker Clinic sponsors an ad depicting a white effeminate male:

D.C. has a higher HIV infection rate than many sub-Saharan African countries

According to WWC's statistics 49% of AIDS cases in Northern VA are causes by "men having sex with men" (MSM) compared with 16% being caused by heterosexual contact. Nationwide the stats are 47% and 17% respectively.

Clearly, homosexual conduct plays a large role in the spread of this deadly disease. When one considers the way HIV is transmitted, one can see that unprotected MSM with an infected person is very dangerous.

Furthermore, the WWC claims, "HIV is increasing especially among minority MSM" for the following reasons:

  • Initial prevention efforts were produced by and focused on white gay men;
  • African-American and Latino men are less likely to identify themselves as gay or bisexual, thereby hindering prevention practices or services from reaching these populations.
How self-identifying oneself as gay leads to a greater likelihood one will not engage in risky behavior remains unclear. Condoms are available to all men regardless of their embracing a gay identity. I find it hard to believe promiscuity among self-identified gays is less than those who have not come out of the closet.

WWC was "established by and for the gay and lesbian community" and provides counselling, medical care, a food bank and other community services. Is the WWC saying that one must "identify themselves as gay or bisexual" in order to receive WWC's services?

I do not want to diminish the good things WWC is doing for sick people. But, they seem to be encouraging people who may experience same-sex attractions to embrace the gay lifestyle. Christians should enourage those who suffer from homosexual desires to embrace chastity instead. Courage is a Catholic organization that does so. More on that later.

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  • Not self identifying as gay or bisexual has a few of implications:

    1) they are more likely to see HIV infection as something that happens to "those" people instead of themselves.

    2)HIV/AIDS education and awareness is very prevalent in the gay community and they may not be getting those messages or free resources if they don't feel they are part of the community.

    3) If they aren't identifying as gay, they are probably having sex with women as well, which further spreads the disease. My black friends have talked about this concern.

    By Blogger Diane Haag, at Monday, May 07, 2007 6:03:00 PM  

  • I can see how acting bisexual instead of gay puts women at risk. Women are much more likely (I think by eight times) to catch HIV from an infected man than vis a versa.

    However, I don't see how the others have significant effect. I've never been gay or part of the "gay community," yet I've known since I was 15 that MSM is very risky.

    The answer is to increase awareness (with ADS on the METRO for example), not to call people out of the closet.

    By Blogger Tom, at Tuesday, May 08, 2007 7:40:00 PM  

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