While we would have preferred that the initial news release issued by UCSF researchers last Monday on the multi-drug-resistant staph infection was not sensationalistic and homophobic, the university did post a short apology on its Web site last Friday, after being asked to by longtime activist Michael Petrelis, who, like many others, took strong exception to the wording used in the original statement. Additionally, some of the researchers involved in the study of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, particularly the new USA300 strain, have now expressed their "regret" for how the release was worded, in particular the statements that implied gay men were not part of the "general population."
For years, HIV/AIDS research has relied on gay men and last week's clumsy release – compounded by the mainstream media coverage – caused us to question why men would want to participate in future research.
The university has pledged to do a better job in the future, and we'll be watching.
Sexually active gay men vulnerable to new, highly infectious bacteria
New multi-drug-resistant bacteria emerge in U.S. cities on both coasts
The study is based on review of medical records from outpatient clinics in San Francisco and Boston as well as nine of 10 medical centers serving San Francisco.
The research is based on information collected from MRSA cases from nine of 10 medical centers serving San Francisco and medical records from outpatients with MRSA infections who were treated in an HIV clinic in San Francisco and a clinic serving a predominantly lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender population in Boston.