Don't vilify homosexuals
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Once again, Dr Wayne West of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) resorts to half-truths to spread his anti-gay message. In his letter to the editor published May 18, 2013 ('Homophobia is a misleading term'), he uses data from the Lancet medical journal, which points to a higher HIV prevalence among black men who have sex with men (MSM) worldwide, and concludes that by simply discouraging homosexuality we will curb the HIV epidemic.
What Dr West deliberately neglects to mention is that the same Lancet goes on to point out that the reason HIV is so much higher among black MSM is because of entrenched anti-gay sentiments in the black community.
The point of the Lancet article was, therefore, not to blame black gay men for spreading HIV, but rather to encourage policymakers to address the rampant anti-gay and homophobic views found in the black community. These sentiments drive gay men underground, away from effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support interventions.
Montego Bay, St James