Wed | Sep 22, 2021

UWI correct on Professor Bain

Published:Thursday | May 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Jamaica's Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to freedom of expression "as is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society". Every individual, including the University of the West Indies, is obliged to protect this right. However, no one has to pay you for misrepresenting facts in pursuit of your own personal ideology.

Professor Brendan Bain is a devout fundamentalist Christian and objects to homosexuality. He further alleges that threatening consenting adult males with 10 years in prison at hard labor for their private acts of intimacy is an effective way to prevent the spread of HIV.

not true

However, this is simply not true. The fact is, Jamaica's 1864 anti-buggery law has not prevented the country from having the highest HIV prevalence rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) worldwide. Further, this rate is nearly twice as high as any other country that has decriminalised same-gender intimacy.

Professor Bain's deliberate misrepresentation of scientific evidence has hurt the reputation of the region's premier university, which is known for its intellec-tual rigour. He has also lost the confidence of those groups across the region that are coordinating the HIV response. The UWI, therefore, had no choice but to terminate Professor Bain's contract as director of the regional programme responsible for training health-care professionals in managing HIV.

Maurice Tomlinson