Post Writer Says 'Gay Plague' Is Fault of 'Homophobia'

Who's responsible for the exploding AIDS infection rate among men who have sex with men? The men having the sex (MSMs), or the people who say homosexual sex is unhealthy and morally wrong?

Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly blames the moralists.

In her story on page A-2 of Thursday's Post,Early Lessons Forgotten, AIDS Conference Told,” Connolly reports on the International AIDS Conference's finding that HIV/AIDS is skyrocketing largely because of homosexual sex. Connolly relates the grim stats:

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 6 -- Twenty-five years after AIDS was branded the “gay plague,” the virus is again exacting a disproportionate toll on men who have sex with men, not only in the United States but also in countries where the epidemic is just emerging.

Globally, men who engage in homosexual relations are 19 times as likely to contract HIV as the rest of the population, according to data released at the International AIDS Conference. Here in Mexico, men who have sex with men are 109 times as likely as others to develop HIV, while in the United States, 53 percent of new infections in 2006 were in gay and bisexual men.

And what's behind this tragedy? Connolly continues:

“Homophobia, biology and misplaced confidence that AIDS has become a treatable chronic illness…”

That's right. Connolly lists “homophobia” as the very first cause of the surge of AIDS among homosexual men.

By this logic, health authorities who discourage smoking are actually causing the illnesses associated with smoking because of their tobaccophobia. The health authorities who fought tuberculosis by passing laws against spitting on city sidewalks were responsible for the epidemic because of their spitophobia.

The rest of the article is a mind-bending exercise in denial and political correctness. Each time Connolly acknowledges an inconvenient fact, such as that anal sex is the most efficient way to transmit the disease, she rebuts it by quoting someone who blames the spread of AIDS on the “stigma” against homosexual behavior.

Here's a prime example:

Simple biology also contributes to the problem, [Robert] Wolitski [acting director of the CDC's HIV/AIDS prevention program] noted. “This is a virus that is transmitted more easily via anal sex than vaginal sex,” he said.

What worries public health leaders is that many countries, particularly in the developing world, appear to be repeating the early patterns of the epidemic.

“The same kinds of stigma and discrimination and institutionalized homophobia that failed gay men in America is now failing men who have sex with men in the rest of the world,” said Kevin Robert Frost, chief executive of Amfar, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Catch that? It's not the homosexual behavior. And in the U.S., it's not that gay activists have fought to reopen bathhouses where promiscuity and anal sex are rampant. It's not the news media, TV, and schools relentlessly promoting acceptance of homosexuality, with the result being more boys and young men experimenting and getting infected. The problem is the people who refuse to accept homosexual behavior.

Connolly provides plenty of solid facts explaining why biology or “misplaced confidence” and other unfortunate attitudes in the homosexual community are contributing to the spread of AIDS. However, her evidence explaining why “homophobia” is responsible is sorely lacking. She goes on for 669 words before giving any reasons why homophobia is to blame: laws against homosexual sex in some countries make it difficult to conduct prevention programs among MSMs, and “stigma and discrimination … lead to low self-esteem and risky behavior such as unprotected sex.”

Connolly finishes her plea for more acceptance of homosexuality with a quote from Mexican AIDS activist Jorge Saavedra:

“Though he has not concealed his sexual orientation, Saavedra made a point of spotlighting it, announcing to the crowd that he is gay, married and HIV-positive.

“'It is not wrong to be gay,' he said. “What is wrong is the need to be hidden.”

Connolly's article, as well as the AIDS activists' continued indictment of people who think homosexuality is wrong and unhealthy, show that liberals will defend to the death their stances regardless of clear evidence and common sense.

And what about those thousands of teen-age boys who are contracting HIV at record levels?

Let's just say they're collateral damage in the fight against “homophobia.” 

Robert Knight is Director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.