Black and gay: Doubly at risk — not from HIV, from HIV/AIDS theory
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/03/01
“Black gay men seek community space in SF
February 7th, 2009
From: Bay Area Reporter – by Matthew S. Bajko –
Isolated not only from the larger LGBT community, but also from each other, the city’s black gay male population is seeking a place to call home. . . .
Creating such a space is seen as key in not only addressing the spiritual and health needs of African American men who have sex with men, but also as a way to combat the disproportionately high prevalence of HIV infection within this subset of the city’s gay male population. Health officials estimate that 1,500 gay and bisexual black men in the city are HIV-positive. While preliminary data has shown a significant drop off of HIV infections among gay black men under the age of 30, infections among older gay black men have been rising” [emphases added]
[“Estimates” & “preliminary data” are warning signs that should be taken seriously. Unless these data are indisputable, the question arises: Were the estimators aware of the fact that the proclivity to test “HIV-positive” increases with age from the early teens into middle age? Did they confuse a higher rate among men older than 30 with an “increase” among them?]
“But data local HIV researchers have found point to a continuing HIV epidemic among black men due to their higher chance of having black partners. Studies done by the health department’s HIV epidemiology section have found that among gay men as a whole, black men are seen as the least desirable partners and are perceived as being the most risky for contracting HIV.”
[Official statements have fueled those sentiments for years, by describing HIV/AIDS as increasingly a disease of black communities and by reiterating that black men and women are more likely to test “HIV-positive” than white men and women are, by factors of about 8 and about 20 or more, respectively]
“The result is a closed sexual network, where HIV is more easily transmitted among gay black men, despite the fact they do not engage in riskier sexual practices than other gay men.”
[Once more a ridiculous assertion is passed on by uncritical media. How is “HIV” envisaged to be more easily transmitted among black gay men than among others, if their behavior is no more risky?!]
“’HIV is sophisticated now. We need to be sophisticated about it,’ said Tony Bradford, a member of the working group who is the interim program director of the Black Brothers Esteem program.”
[Balderdash. What’s needed is common sense and looking at facts, there’s been far too much “sophistication” about “HIV/AIDS” — or should I say sophistry?]
“’Because of the small number of black men in San Francisco there is not a visible community,’ said Broome, who is also a member of the working group. ‘There isn’t a space in the Castro black men can call their own.’”
[and this small number is an excellent reason for doubting the reliability of those “estimates” and “preliminary data”, see above]
The fact is — and it’s been clear for many years — that African ancestry brings a probability of testing “HIV-positive” that’s an order of magnitude greater than with non-African ancestry. Black people test “positive” at rates anywhere from 5 times to 100 times more frequently than Caucasians (and Caucasians test “positive” 50% more often than Asians).
Those racial disparities are seen among blood donors, gay men, pregnant women, babies, drug abusers, military personnel — in every social group and in every country and culture. They are OBVIOUSLY not the result of differences in “risky behavior” — even apart from the fact that many actual studies of sexual behavior have found that white Americans are more likely to practice “risky behavior” than are African Americans.
TESTING “HIV-POSITIVE” DOES NOT SIGNIFY INFECTION BY A PATHOGEN.