AIDS News or Stigmatization?

30 Jul

It’s hard for me to understand the logic of this headline in today’s Jamaica Gleaner: Male to Male Sex Hurting Caribbean. The story comes from this report by UNAIDS, in anticipation of 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City beginning next week. Among issuing mostly positive news of the stabilization of the epidemic in many Caribbean countries, the UNAIDS reports states:

The main mode of HIV transmission in the Caribbean is unprotected heterosexual intercourse, paid or otherwise. However, sex between men, although generally denied by society, is also a significant factor in several national epidemics.

The second sentence is what the Gleaner chose as their lead and theme of the story, leading the reader to believe that homosexuals are to blame for the increase in HIV infections in the region. While homosexual sex is clearly one significant mode of transmission, this article seems to go over the line from explaining that to stigmatizing gay men, something another UNAIDS report issued the same day attributes to also playing a major role in spreading the epidemic.

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