Next 'Gays = Disease' Panic Arrives
Feb 3 at CROI in Boston
Feb 3 at CROI in Boston
Close to three years ago there was a "gays = disease" panic out of New York City because of a single gay man acquiring a strain of drug-resistant HIV, labeled a "super bug" by the media across the planet.
The local health department chief, Dr. Thomas Frieden, with the collaboration of AIDS superstar researcher Dr. David Ho, sounded the alarm about this one case, and predicted dire consequences when more such cases emerged, and they were sure to emerge because of the rampant unsafe sexual relations of gay men, particularly those high on meth.
This was one more classic panic created based on a lone individual or small number of cases, about a serious problem in the gay AIDS community, blown up into apocalyptic proportions.
Many executives who work in AIDS Inc seized upon the experts' new warnings, and a collective nanny finger was disapprovingly wagged at fags everywhere, not just the Chelsea district in Manhattan. By and large, average gays tuned out the alarms from Frieden, Ho and company, just as they have done on lots of the other occasions when sex/gays/disease fears were thrown at us.
The 2005 hysteria whirled into action right before the start of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, CROI, held that year in Boston.
There is an unwritten law that says all HIV/AIDS researchers, experts and local health department must present alarming new stats or studies or drug-resistant strains of existing infections related to gay men, preferably on the eve of scientific conferences, the better to dominate the news out of the conference, or during the conference.
For those with short memories, let me remind you of the alarmist claims in June 2000 of allegedly sub-Saharan levels of new HIV transmissions in San Francisco by the local health department and researchers at UCSF, first made on the front pages of the SF Chronicle and NY Times. The AIDS Inc and media fear machines were in full swing with the scary claims, coming right before the start of that year's international AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
Later this week the 2008 edition of CROI kicks off, again in Boston, and if history is any indication, we can expect HIV researchers to release frightening new stats or studies targeting gay men, and quotes from the experts about needing to sound an alarm because the gay community is supposedly complacent about our health needs.
The 2008 CROI event starts on February 3 and I damn sure hope to be proved wrong about researchers and their evidence presented before or during the conference. If we get through CROI this year without fearful and apocalyptic presentations and statements from researcher, I'll be among the first to applaud such an approach.