Is MRSA The New Gay Plague? Not According To The Medical Literature

Jim Burroway

January 19th, 2008

A new study came out last week from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, which found a high rate of drug-resistant staph infection among “men who have sex with men” in San Francisco and Boston. The sensational reporting surrounding this report suggests that once this drug-resistant infection known as MRSA “reaches the general population, it will be truly unstoppable.” That line has probably become the most quoted line among our favorite anti-gay demagogues. Lead researcher Binh An Diep also told the San Francisco Chronicle:

We probably had it here first, and now it is spreading elsewhere… This is a national problem, and San Francisco is at the epicenter.

MRSAThe Toronto Star said that this latest study “discover[ed] a new strain” of a super-bug “hitting gay men” Headlines in Britain screamed, “Flesh-eating bug strikes San Francisco’s gay community,” while Australians panicked over the more widespread, “Flesh-eating bug spreads among gays.”

But there’s a problem with all of this. None of it is true!

In our latest report, “Testing the Premise: Is MRSA The New Gay Plague?”, we examine some of the medical research on MRSA over the past two decades — there are over 750 articles listed in the PubMed Database on community-acquired MRSA — and reach several conclusions which should be obvious to anyone familiar with the subject:

  • San Francisco is not the epicenter of the new disease,
  • this disease in fact is not new,
  • and gay men are not spreading it into the “general population.”

The overwhelming medical evidence actually shows the opposite — it’s the “general population” that’s responsible for spreading MRSA into the gay community. In our report, we examine some of the communities that have been hardest hit by MRSA, including:

  • Cities all across the U.S. and around the world.
  • American Indians, rural Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, prisoners, and kids in day care;
  • A religious community in upstate New York;
  • Soldiers and sailors in the U.S. and on a ship at sea;
  • And athletes. Lots of athletes. The USC Trojans, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins were all hit in recent years, as were other professional, college and high school programs around the country. (One study blamed “cosmetic body shaving and turf burns,” and the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine described MSRA as “the latest sports epidemic.”)

But for some reason, there has not been a hue and cry over a “flesh-eating jock staph” threatening the “general population.” In fact, none of this has anything to do with gay men. But that doesn’t keep the popular press and anti-gay demagogues from accusing disease-ridden gay men of spreading filthy diseases to an innocent, unsuspecting population. Sound familar?

In our latest report, you can:

  • See the actual medical evidence — including direct links to the medical research so you don’t have to take our word for it;
  • Examine the statements by lead researcher Binh Diep which helped to fuel the hysteria about the latest “gay plague”;
  • Look at how the usual suspects have used the researcher’s comments to flame anti-gay bigotry;
  • Learn what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention really say about MRSA and gay men.

You will find all of this in Testing the Premise: Is MRSA The New Gay Plague?

Samantha Davis

January 19th, 2008

Wow, you sure got that report out quickly.

a. mcewen

January 19th, 2008

i commend jim and company for doing that.

they had to get it out quickly because concerned women for america and company have already tried to use it for their purposes.

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