AIM's Cliff Kincaid Still Promoting Anti-Gay Uganda Law
Cliff Kincaid has another anti-gay screed up at Accuracy in Media endorsing the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda, this time going after Kathleen Parker's recent Washington Post column for daring to criticize a law Kincaid has aggressively defended. Kincaid denigrates Parker by claiming she is "[l]osing complete control of her senses," doing "her best imitation of lesbian MSNBC-TV commentator Rachel Maddow " and suggests she wrote her column out of "her eagerness to please those who syndicate her column and quote her approvingly in the liberal press."
Kincaid has added more misleading claims to his arsenal. He asserts that "[t]here is a myth that AIDS in Africa has been spread exclusively through heterosexual conduct." That's a red herring - he offers no examples of anyone making the claim that HIV has been spread "exclusively through heterosexual conduct." What has been claimed (as I recently did) is the documented fact that, historically, HIV transmission in Uganda and much of Africa has been spread mostly through heterosexual and mother-to-child conduct. Kincaid offers no evidence that this has significantly changed.
Kincaid then writes:
But the internationally acclaimed medical journal The Lancet last August published the first scientific study showing that male homosexuals are more often than not infected with HIV than the general adult population in sub-Saharan Africa. The study is titled, "Men who have sex with men and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa."
But the Lancet study is about a lot more than how many homosexuals in Africa have AIDS, which Kincaid curiously fails to mention -- perhaps because it undermines his anti-gay crusade. First of all, it further debunks Kincaid's suggestion that heterosexual HIV transmission is a "myth," stating: "Notwithstanding the lack of reliable population data about African MSM [men who have sex with men], the proportion of current HIV incidence attributable to MSM is estimated to be as high as 20% in some west African countries." That leaves 80 percent that is attributable to something else -- in other words, heterosexual and mother-to-child transmission.
The Lancet then points to reasons why there is a high incidence of HIV among gays in Africa:
Most African states have yet to allocate any national HIV/AIDS resource for HIV/AIDS prevention or care for MSM.
The effectiveness of national HIV prevention programmes on HIV risk behaviour in MSM is not known but is likely to be low. Safe sex for MSM implies access to condoms and lubricants that are rarely available or are prohibitively expensive. Messages about prevention targeted to heterosexual populations might seem irrelevant to MSM; African MSM might not consider same-sex encounters to be sex at all because this word can also infer reproduction. Perceptions that anal sex or sex between men pose no risk of HIV transmission, even that such behaviours might be actively sought because of this misconception, have been reported repeatedly. How widespread such misconceptions are is unclear, yet the almost complete absence of African media, health education, and counselling to challenge these beliefs is self-evident.
Important conclusions from behavioural studies of African MSM are that unprotected anal sex is commonplace, knowledge and access to appropriate risk prevention measures are inadequate, and that, in some contexts, many MSM engage in transactional sex. Stigma, violence, detention, and lack of safe social and health resources are widely reported.
The neglect of research, surveillance and HIV prevention, and treatment and care programmes for MSM cannot be separated from the influence of general, largely hostile attitudes toward homosexuality in Africa. Male-to-male sex is illegal in sub-Saharan African countries, potentially attracting the death penalty in four. In recent years, governments of several countries have strengthened laws against homosexuality, and political and religious leaders have publicly denounced MSM as immoral and not deserving attention from the state. In the most recent Pew Global Attitudes Project survey, most respondents sampled from ten sub-Saharan African countries stated that society should reject homosexuality.