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Stabbing Bain in the back

Published:Wednesday | May 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Professor Brendan Bain is the Mother Teresa or Father Ho Lung of HIV/AIDS treatment in the Caribbean. He has walked the talk when it comes to breaking down the barrier of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). He has been researching the disease and treating PLWHA long before the Johnny-come-lately pseudo-HIV/AIDS advocates.

Studies have shown that a critical factor in reducing the discrimination against PLWHA is to educate the health practitioners, along with members of the wider public. Bain has been doing this through his professional life work. Attitudinal changes by health and other occupational groups towards treating PLWHA are arguably more critical than repealing/passing laws.

Therefore, the call by a coalition of rights and advocacy groups for Professor Bain to be pushed from his job is not only a display of rank injustice and discrimination, but is a stab in the back.

The real mischief makers in this instance are those who are conflating/equating the HIV/AIDS-prevention campaign with gay-rights advocacy. Gay-rights advocates want the buggery laws removed, while many health professionals think removing this law will cause HIV/AIDS among gay men to worsen. This is based on empirical data reported in health journals.

The twinning of the HIV/AIDS-prevention campaign with the gay-rights advocacy is proving to be counterproductive and will continue to cause tension between people of goodwill who want to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but are being driven away by gay-rights activism.

If Professor Brendan Bain can be attacked, who is next?