Thursday, January 17, 2008

Intentionally Causing Chaos

Yeah I know everyone is concerned over Mike Huckabee’s bullshit. And to a degree, I am too.

But I have to say something else about this staph infection mess that been in the news for the past couple of days.

I think the voices in our community have responded well to this nonsense, but I also think more needs to be said.

The first thing is that this exploitation of crucial medical information by the anti-gay industry is nothing new:

1979 - Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg publishes Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women. This was a study looking at gay men in the city of San Francisco in the early 1970s. Over 30 years later, the anti-gay industry cites the book as a correct representation of the sexual habits of the entire gay community. They do this despite the fact that Martin and Weinberg clearly said - “. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

The Gay Report is published. This book, looking at the sex habits of gays and lesbians, was based on 1,900 sex survey responses from gay men; 1,000 from lesbians; and 2,500 responses from a gay magazine questionnaire. The authors even say, “We agreed at the outset not to pretend that these percentages represented the practices and views of all gay people—they reflected only our respondents.” However, just like Homosexualities (see above entry), The Gay Report will be used to generalize about the sexual habits of all lgbts even 30 years after its publishing.

1994 - Joanne Hall, Ph.D. of the University of Tennessee’s College of Nursing publishes a study looking at the patterns of behavior for 35 lesbians who had self-identified alcohol problems. Her study is later used by various anti-gay industry groups to claim that lesbians in general have a problem with alcohol abuse and that gay adoption is not a good idea. Hall later writes a letter of complaint to one of the groups distorting her study (the Family Research Council). Her complaint is ignored.

2001 - Six researchers (Robert S Hogg, Stefan A Strathdee, Kevin JP Craib, Michael V. O’ Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T Schechter) write a letter to the editor to the International Journal of Epidemiology accusing the anti-gay industry of distorting a study they published in 1997 in order to claim that gay men have a short life span. They said they were speaking of a hypothetical outcome that would take place if there were not better practices regarding safe sex in that particular area. They also said that conditions have improved; therefore the outcome they predicted (i.e. gay men not reaching their sixty-fifth birthday) had been averted.

So there is a history of the anti-gay industry distorting credible medicinal information. And I am concerned as to what it can lead to.

Dealing with medical matters is walking a very thin tightrope. There is a fine line between informing segments of the public and demonizing them. And if that line is crossed, it builds mistrust.

For the most part, the medical community have done all they can to inform and educate about this staph infection without demonizing the lgbt community.

Then people like Americans for Truth (in name only), Concerned Women for America and the rest of the phony “pro-family” groups stick their dirty fingers into the situation.

These groups don’t care about the potential danger of the staph infections. Let’s face it; if there was not a gay angle, these groups wouldn’t care. They are only interested in the fact that gay men are affected; the better for them to hint Paul Cameronesque lies about gay man, anal sex, and feces.

I wonder how long it will before they start referring to gerbils?

To tell these groups to keep their shrill voices quiet probably wouldn’t do any good. I hate to say it, but a part of me thinks that they know what they are doing.

Part of me thinks that they are intentionally trying to sow seeds of mistrust between the lgbt and medical communities.

Many studies show that it is the lack of access to good healthcare information that spreads disease in the lgbt community. At the root of this mistrust is a fear coming from lgbts as to how their physicians will react if they out themselves.

Where there is no trust, there is no dialogue. Where there is no dialogue, there is no access to good healthcare. Where there is no access to good healthcare, there is disease.

That old adage about “for want of a nail” plays on an extreme level here.

And meanwhile, the anti-gay industry stands to benefit as they divest themselves from the self-actualizing dichotomy they have caused.

Very Machiavellian, but not very Christian.

UPDATE - Way to go, Centers for Disease Control!!!

The CDC has issued a statement on the staph infection. Part of it reads as follows:

CDC Statement on MRSA in Men Who Have Sex with Men

MRSA is a common cause of skin infections throughout the United States. These infections occur in men, women, adults, children, and persons of all races and sexual orientations, and are known to be transmitted by close skin-to-skin contact. In this issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, Diep et al looked at isolates of MRSA - USA300 strains containing a particular plasmid associated with additional drug resistance. The paper shows that multidrug-resistant USA300 has emerged as an important source of disease among men with have sex with men in 2 geographically distinct communities.

The strains of MRSA described in the recent Annals of Internal Medicine have mostly been identified in certain groups of men who have sex with men (MSM), but have also been found in some persons who are not MSM. It is important to note that the groups of MSM in which these isolates have been described are not representative of all MSM, so conclusions can not be drawn about the prevalence of these strains among all MSM.