We’ve reported recently about a new chain of lies issued by PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), claiming that gay youth are suicidal disease carriers.
In the first lie, PFOX misused the research of Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., on suicide attempts in gay youth to argue that people should not identify their sexual orientation at young ages. Remafedi’s findings do not support the contention that young people choose their identity or the timing of events in identity formation. Nor, Remefedi said, is there any evidence that the availability of Gay-Straight Alliances influences those developmental processes. GSAs help defend gay youth from bullying — a key to reducing suicide rates among youth generally. PFOX, on the other hand, seems committed to keeping gay youths closeted out of fear of their classmates, teachers, and family members.
In the second lie, PFOX falsely claimed that 71 percent of gay people aged 13-24 are HIV-positive. Ed Brayton of ScienceBlogs.com read the current U.S. Centers for Disease Control report and found the actual infection rate to be between 3 and 5 percent.
Now the misnamed American “Family” Association has come to the aid of PFOX by telling the lie — without substantiation — that the CDC in June 2007 blamed homosexual sex for 71 percent of all HIV cases. The AFA derived this lie by distorting a CDC factsheet revised in 2007 but based on CDC reports for 2005. According to the factsheet, 53 percent of all U.S. HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2005 were attributable to men who have sex with men (MSM). Unprotected male-to-male sex could be blamed for 61 percent of U.S. cases among men since the beginning of the epidemic — but fully 27 percent of U.S. HIV diagnoses were in women. The AFA distorted another aspect of the research: CDC research only covers the United States. In the developing world, HIV is spread primarily through heterosexual sex. (Source: U.K. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology PDF).
Infections related to sexual behavior occur mostly through failure to use safer-sex practices, such as condoms — precautions, it must be noted, that are discouraged by PFOX and its ex-gay allies.
Hat tip: Box Turtle Bulletin