HIV inherently associated with homosexuality or is it a syndemic?
Some anti-gay activists make the claim that the following study proves that giving gays rights do nothing to lower the risk of HIV within the MSM community:
Sexual health, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in the United States.
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton RD NE (E-35), Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. RWolitski@cdc.gov
The sexual health of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States is not getting better despite considerable social, political and human rights advances. Instead of improving, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain disproportionately high among MSM and have been increasing for almost two decades. The disproportionate and worsening burden of HIV and other STIs among MSM requires an urgent re-assessment of what we have been doing as a nation to reduce these infections, how we have been doing it, and the scale of our efforts. A sexual health approach has the potential to improve our understanding of MSM’s sexual behavior and relationships, reduce HIV and STI incidence, and improve the health and well-being of MSM.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
What did the full study really say?
Read it here: http://tinyurl.com/6r59blj
“It is important to recognize that the sexual health inequities experienced by MSM exist within a larger context of health problems that are driven, at least in part, by social mar-ginalization and discrimination. Social marginalization is a fundamental cause of health inequities experienced by a range of socially and economically disadvantaged popula-tions [36–40]. Discrimination toward sexual minorities is a form of social marginalization that is rooted in homophobia and is reﬂected in laws, policies and interpersonal inter-actions that affect the physical and mental health of MSM, including whether MSM seek and are able to obtain healthcare, and the quality of the health care services they receive. Individual choices and behaviors play a very important role in health, but the choices and behaviors of individuals (and the risks associated with these behaviours) are affected by society, culture, and the context that they occur within. Social marginalization inﬂuences the behaviours of individual MSM (e.g., discourages disclosure of sexual orientation, may contribute to substance use and other maladaptive coping strategies, impedes establishment and maintenance of same-sex relationships) and the relative risk of the behaviors they engage in by concentrating infectious disease in disadvantaged populations, and con-straining individuals’ ability and willingness to seek and receive appropriate prevention services and medical care in a timely manner.”
SOCIAL MARGINALISATION AND DISCRIMINATION NEGATIVELY AFFECTING THE HEALTH OF MSMS? IS THIS WHAT IS CALLED “HOMOPHOBIA”?
LETS SEE WHAT ELSE THE STUDY SAID:
“As a result of social and individual determinants of risk, MSM are more likely to experience multiple health problems at higher rates compared to other men. A growing body of evidence indicates that MSM are more likely, compared to other men, to have clinical depression, anxiety disorders, eating and body image disorders, some cancers, and possibly alcohol dependence. They are also more likely to attempt suicide, smoke tobacco, and use illicit drugs (including marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, amphetamines, and opiates)”
DID THE STUDY RECOMMEND CRIMINALISATION AS A SOLUTION?
“The success of efforts to improve sexual health and reduce HIV/STI risk among MSM will also depend heavily on efforts to address the social and cultural environment within which MSM live, including efforts to address the damaging effects that a hostile social and political environment can have on MSMs mental, physical, and sexual health. Working to eliminate stigma and discrimination through efforts to reduce homophobia in the general public and in schools, providing comprehensive sex education in schools that is appropriate for both heterosexual and homosexual students, ensuring that laws and policies promote the basic human rights of MSM and protect them from hate crimes, educating and supporting parents of young gay, bisexual men or those who are questioning their sexual identity, providing MSM with equal access to health insurance, and legally recognizing long-term relationships of MSM are important structural and policy changes that would likely improve the long-term sexual health of MSM and reduce HIV/STI disease burden.”