It is sad that this was of utmost importance but important truths are not.
I posted about this article before - The Syndemic of STDs Among Gay Men from the autumn of 2012.
In addition to the effects of depression, drug use, and a history of childhood abuse and/or violence on HIV infection rates, MSM are more likely to suffer from other psychological disorders, paraphilias, and sexual addiction and compulsion. They are far more likely to be diagnosed with any of an array of other sexually transmitted disease (STDs), some of which have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and some of which can make them more vulnerable to infection with HIV. They are more likely than other men to engage in a wide variety of sexual practices which have the potential to spread STDs, to do so with a larger number of partners in venues which cater to multiple and anonymous sexual encounters. And in spite of the known risks, gay activists have consistently — and in many cases successfully — resisted proven public health strategies for the prevention of the transmission of STDs.
Those who died of AIDS were memorialized as martyrs. Rather than calling for changes in the behaviors, which led to these deaths, the AIDS establishment blamed the government, religion, and the straight world for not finding a cure, for not funding education, for its homophobia, for causing homosexuals’ low self-esteem, and for denying their ‘right’ to marry.
Because the thought of using condoms for the rest of their lives was unacceptable to many MSM, in 1992 the AIDS activists came up with the slogan “Be Here for the Cure.” They demanded that government funded scientists immediately find a cure for HIV/AIDS, one which would allow MSM to return to their previous behavior without the risk of dying. This was totally unrealistic, as a physician who treated HIV patients explained, “There are no viral illness we’ve successfully found a cure for yet.” Nevertheless, “the idea that there would surely be a cure, and soon was vital to many gay men’s determination to use condoms or take other safer-sex precautions.”
For some, even the harm reduction compromise of ‘condom code’ was too sex negative. According to Dr. Walt Odets, a gay psychologist and author of In the Shadow of the Epidemic, – writing when the AIDS diagnosis was still a death sentence – argued that if it was a choice between anal sex (and other high risk practices) and life, homosexual men should feel free to choose anal sex and take their chances. Reduction of HIV transmission should “only be the secondary task because it must be built on the foundation of lives experienced as worth the trouble.” Odets insisted that the values of the gay community should not be sacrificed so that individuals could live meaningless lives:
A CDC report in a gay blog:
The data indicate that rates of HIV infection among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are more than 44 times higher than rates among heterosexual men and more than 40 times higher than women. Rates of syphilis, an STD that can facilitate HIV infection and, if left untreated, may lead to sight loss and severe damage to the nervous system, are reported to be more than 46 times higher among gay men and other MSM than among heterosexual men and more than 71 times higher than among women. (Full presser here).
And one of the comments by the gay minister D Gregory Smith as to the reason this has happened.
Guilt and shame, internalized homophobia, fear of recrimination (employer, religion, family, peers) are all part of the mix.
As well-adjusted as some of us are, the subliminal messages of "less than" are still quite powerful, and it takes its toll. We cope by self-medicating, screwing, spending, etc., all which eventually compounds stress and can lead to a lifetime of mental illness issues, HIV, STD's, addiction, etc.
All from being overtly or subliminally discriminated against by the majority.