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NEW STUDY SHOWS BLACK MSM HIV PREVALENCE HIGHER IN COUNTRIES THAT CRIMINALISE HOMOSEXUALITY


At AGFC we love science especially because we know it also always proves the scientifically challenged anti-gay religious movement wrong.

Many anti-gay activists in Jamaica make the claim that anti-homosexual laws do not contribute to the higher prevalence rate seen in countries that criminalise homosexuality. Is idea this supported by peer-reviewed modern science?

 A new study on HIV in the African diaspora has been released in The Lancet on July 28th, 2012. The Lancet is the second highest ranking medical journal in the world.

The Abstract can be found here:  http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60722-3/abstract

The full study can be viewed here: Lancet Millett GLBT criminalization

Abstract:

Common roots: a contextual review of HIV epidemics in black men who have sex with men across the African diaspora

Summary

Pooled estimates from across the African diaspora show that black men who have sex with men (MSM) are 15 times more likely to be HIV positive compared with general populations and 8·5 times more likely compared with black populations. Disparities in the prevalence of HIV infection are greater in African and Caribbean countries that criminalise homosexual activity than in those that do not criminalise such behaviour. With the exception of US and African epidemiological studies, most studies of black MSM mainly focus on outcomes associated with HIV behavioural risk rather than on prevalence, incidence, or undiagnosed infection. Nevertheless, black MSM across the African diaspora share common experiences such as discrimination, cultural norms valuing masculinity, concerns about confidentiality during HIV testing or treatment, low access to HIV drugs, threats of violence or incarceration, and few targeted HIV prevention resources.
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Other things the study said:

-“Black MSM report various barriers to access to HIV prevention services. The results of a British survey showed that black MSM were less likely to have received free condoms or lubricants in the previous month than were other MSM.”
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-“In the Caribbean, less than 40% of MSM are reached by prevention programmes,which is consistent with UNAIDS data showing that as many as 52% of Bahamian and 83% of Guyanese MSM were not reached by such programmes.”
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-“Poor access to prevention materials complicates HIV prevention efforts. According to a study by Zulu and colleagues, 73% of Zambian MSM believed that anal sex was safer than vaginal sex. Meanwhile 86% of black MSM in a Lesotho study did not know that receptive anal sex was a risk factor for HIV transmission or that water-based lubricants should be used with latex condoms. Inadequate access to HIV prevention materials and non-participation in HIV prevention programmes were associated with unprotected anal intercourse in MSM in investigations in Cameroon, Senegal, and Kenya. Kenyan male sex workers who reported sex with men and who did not know that unprotected anal intercourse was a risk factor for HIV transmission were more likely to have such intercourse than were those who were aware of this risk. Furthermore, only 21% of participants knew to use water-based lubricants with latex condoms (29% used no lubrication with latex condoms and 36% used an oil-based lubricant). The results of other studies have also shown that black African MSM are more likely to use oil-based rather than water-based lubrication, increasing the probability of condom degradation and failure.”
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-“The investigators of a study of Jamaican MSM reported that participants were reluctant to obtain lubricants even when freely available because of pervasive stigma associating lubricant use with homosexual anal sex; reports from both the USA and Africa have shown that black MSM who hold HIV conspiracy beliefs are less likely to access HIV testing services and more likely to have unprotected anal intercourse than are black MSM who do not hold such beliefs.”
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Anti-gay activist Shirley Richard’s said in a Gleaner article that “If David Cameron was really interested in our welfare, wouldn’t he be urging us, with tears in his eyes, not to repeal our laws, as it would appear that by liberalising their laws Britain and its allies have made a grave error?”
Does this study prove that Britain made a “grave error” or is her denial necessary to push a certain agenda? Does Britain want the disaster seen in countries with anti-buggery laws?

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-“Population-based surveys show that most black Americans,  black Jamaicans, and black Africans deem homosexuality immoral. Homosexuality is viewed as a white man’s disease in black heterosexual communities across the diaspora, and conservative religious perspectives fuel antipathy to homosexuality.”
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-“Homophobia restricts availability of health care for MSM in Africa and the Caribbean. In a study based in Mombasa, Kenya, only 22% of MSM reported ever attending a clinic sympathetic to MSM, and researchers have noted that some black Caribbean and African MSM explain away the presence of rectal STIs or forego treatment altogether because of stigma. Even in South Africa, where the constitution prohibits discrimination against sexual minorities, only 49% of black MSM in one study who were diagnosed with or had symptoms of an STI in the previous year felt comfortable seeking treatment.”
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“In Kenya, black MSM who experienced anti-gay stigma were more likely to have unprotected anal intercourse and be HIV positive than were black MSM who hadn’t experienced anti-gay stigma. In the USA, experience of homophobia by HIV-positive black MSM doubled the odds of unprotected anal intercourse with male partners who were HIV negative or of unknown HIV status. The results of other US studies have shown that black MSM are more likely than are other MSM to believe that homosexuality is immoral—leading to less HIV testing in those who are HIV negative and missed clinical visits by those who are HIV positive.78 In another US study, low social support—a possible consequence of homophobia—reduced the likelihood of HIV testing and increased the likelihood of undiagnosed HIV infection in black and Hispanic MSM.”
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The nice part:
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-“We combined data from table 1 with information about same-sex criminalisation statutes by country to examine disparities in the prevalence of HIV infection in black MSM in Africa and the Caribbean by same-sex criminalisation status. The odds of HIV infection in black MSM relative to general populations were nearly two times higher in African and Caribbean countries that criminalise homosexual activity than for those living in countries where homosexual behaviour is legal (OR 7·8,95% CI 5·1–11·9; k=34 vs 4·8, 2·4–9·7; 11). The odds of being infected with HIV are significantly greater in Caribbean countries that criminalise homosexual sex than in those where such behaviour is legal.”
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-“Our review establishes that black MSM are disproportionately affected by HIV infection worldwide and that these disparities are partly rooted in social inequalities, insufficient funding, ill-informed policies, and pervasive stigma and discrimination. Leadership, action, and commitment (panel 2) are required to address these social issues to reduce HIV infection disparities and to improve conditions for black MSM across the diaspora.
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Of course, as we all know, these facts will be ignored by the religious anti-gay  movement because it doesn’t suit their agenda.
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2 responses to “NEW STUDY SHOWS BLACK MSM HIV PREVALENCE HIGHER IN COUNTRIES THAT CRIMINALISE HOMOSEXUALITY”

  1. Greg Millett says :

    Glad that you find my study useful and to see it posted here. Feel free to share it widely.

  2. hivdatf says :

    we are posting a portion of your article as well as a link back to this page on our website in the hiv forum.

    THANK YOU.

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