Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Truth on sodomy and sex diseases

Published:Wednesday | November 2, 2011 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

At the recently held Common-wealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia, among the issues was a call for all member states to repeal sodomy laws. The laws being referred to are found in 41 of the 54 member states.

While the report calls for the repeal of these laws, it frames the issue as one of disease control, stating that such laws "impede the effective response of Commonwealth countries to the HIV/AIDS epidemic". The Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group is reported to have "blamed the British influence on the former colonies for high rates of HIV/AIDS. Most of these countries outlaw homosexual practices, which the rival French empire legalised in 1791".

The reference to France in this context is interesting, for if what I have been told is correct, in France, there is full access to all the antiretroviral drugs. Moreover, such drugs are free. One would expect to find that HIV/AIDS is a non-issue among homosexuals there.

Spread among msm

Instead, French researchers reported in the Lancet Infect Dis (October 2010): "HIV transmission seems to be out of control in the MSM population." Reports in medical journals indicate that this is generally the situation in Europe as well as Australia.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports: "The sexual health of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in the United States is not getting better despite considerable social, political and human rights advances. Instead of improving, HIV and STIs remain disproportionately high among MSM and have been increasing for almost two decades."

In light of the foregoing, it is inexplicable that leaders of countries which are experiencing these challenges would be trying to foist them upon other members of the Commonwealth. Should it not be the reverse?

S. RICHARDS

Kingston 10