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The logical (dangerous, nonsensical) conclusion of careless reporting on HIV

Timothy Kincaid

September 10th, 2010

As I noted earlier this week, the story of an HIV study out of Ghent, Belgium, has been reported in a very irresponsible manner. Now the conservative Christian zealots in the UK have latched onto the story and repeated it in a way that is so far from the original as to be laughable (if it wasn’t disgusting and dangerous).

Running the headline Young homosexual men are fuelling HIV in Europe, the Christian Institute has declared the following:

Men who have sex with other men are fuelling HIV infections in Europe, according to a new report supported by the UK’s largest sexual health charity.

The study noted that “unprotected sex between men” is often reported as the main transmission route for the virus. However, the study itself examined all homosexual contact and did not distinguish between protected or unprotected sex.

Medical experts note that anal intercourse is, by its nature, the most risky form of sexual activity.

This deliberate attempt to distort the science to suggest that there is no risk difference between safer-sex and unprotected sex is immoral and reprehensible. This is the exact opposite of the intention of the research and efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

I don’t know how “Christian” these monsters are (they certainly seem to be outside the mainstream in the UK) but I’m sure their god has a very special place for them in the afterlife (and perhaps they should invest in asbestos jumpsuits).

Comments

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pepa
September 10th, 2010 | LINK

Tim,
Even though there are few things I might disagree with, most of the time I am pretty satisfied on how comprehensive you are with several issues including this one.

It is very important to give accurate information and not spin it with the typical race-baiting that is rampant in many mainstream gay news sites like what Pink News did on the recent HIV study.

Good job.

David
September 10th, 2010 | LINK

“Medical experts note that anal intercourse is, by its nature, the most risky form of sexual activity.”

Hmm.

“THE EFFECTS OF PREGNANCY
What women are “at risk” for complications?
ALL of them.

Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world,
most often in a developing nation,
a woman dies from complications related to
pregnancy or childbirth.”

Just a few complications from the list:

infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)

loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

dropped (prolapsed) uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele, and enterocele)

pre-eclampsia (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)

eclampsia (convulsions, coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)

gestational diabetes

cardiopulmonary arrest

magnesium toxicity

severe hypoxemia/acidosis

massive embolism

future infertility

permanent disability

death.

I have to question that claim that anal sex is the most risky form of sexual activity, since pregnancy is the caused by heterosexual intercourse, and exposes women to the above listed risks – in addition to STD’s of course.

Adrian-T
September 11th, 2010 | LINK

The Christian Institute has been waging a pretty nasty war against gay equality ever since it was founded in 1990. When the adoption bill was passed, it promoted cards – looking like blood donor cars – reading ‘I do not wish my children to be adopted by homosexuals in the event of my death’.

It calls for the recriminalization of homosexuality in the UK Armed Forces. It has published error-riddlen reports aiming to defend Section 28, the discriminatory age of consent laws, and the ban on gay marriage.

Its ploy now is to defend the ‘religious rights’ of Christians to refuse to accommodate gay families in bed and breakfast houses, or to perform civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples. In the name of ‘tolerance’.

The CI also tries to campaign aginst public sector support for Stonewall. See its ‘resource’ page, with links to the Alliance Defense Fund, Family Research Council etc. If they had more support, the CI would be just as poisonous.

Its a slick media organization – its press releases are, unsurprisingly, published verbatim in the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. It does a lot of lobbying, and thgankfully the National Secular Society do a great job of opposing them in the media.

Rachel H
September 11th, 2010 | LINK

The Christian Institute is indeed a vile organisation. It has previously been investigated by the Charity Commission (the charity regulator in England and Wales) for being too political.

It’s a shame they haven’t been investigated for dishonesty too, since this deceitful type of spin is all too common for them. For example, I remember reading an article in which they reported that a study showed that “lesbians” slept with an average of [x] men per year, when the research itself was based on a sample of all women who had sex with women, i.e. including bisexuals and occasional fence-leapers.

Their website is a veritable feast of misinformed (and misinforming) bigotry, not limited to anti-gay propaganda.

I was once sat next to Colin Hart (Director of the Christian Institute) at a lunchtime discussion forum, despite my best efforts not to. Best appetite-suppressant I’ve ever encountered.

Jacob
September 11th, 2010 | LINK

Unprotected sex in general is unsafe, and it wouldn’t surprise me if anal sex was more productive at spreading diseases. But it needs to be taken into account what the study involved and how the statistics were generated and it would be more beneficial to read the results straight from a professional journal instead.

Timothy Kincaid
September 11th, 2010 | LINK

Jacob,

If you click the link above it will take you to a previous commentary. The study is linked to that commentary and you can read it.

However, this study was not even remotely about anal sex or whether it is productive at spreading disease. Not even close.

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