“Stigma” Causing Rise In Gonorrhea And Syphilis Infections?
Have you heard? Not only is HIV on the rise, but gonorrhea and syphilis rates are also up, by 4 and 11 percent in 2012, respectively. Thank the lord for Truvada! Except, ha ha, just kidding, Truvada doesn’t do anything to prevent gonorrhea and syphilis.
According to the CDC’s latest report:
Gay and bisexual men may not have access to high-quality care, because homophobia and stigma around STDs may prevent men from being tested, the director of the CDC’s STD prevention devision [sic] said.
The hell?! Homophobia is preventing gay men from having access to health care? I wish there were statistics on how many gay men were denied “high-quality” care (as if that exists for anyone in the United States), but the CDC isn’t providing those numbers. Because they don’t exist.
This is particularly true of poor people in the South, said George W. Rutherford, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco.
“With most of these populations, having a sexually transmitted disease from having sex with another man is highly stigmatized,” he said. “They’d rather not get tested for HIV, syphilis, or whatever. They don’t want it to show up on their records.”
Ah yes, the always “stigmatized,” STD-carrying gay man. Who is he? There’s even a whole campaign based around the mythical condition (if 2013 was the year of “bullying,” 2014 is the year of “stigma”), HIV Equal, which seeks to remove the stigma from getting an HIV test by labeling everyone, negative and positive, as “equal” (someone failed algebra). But who, exactly, is stigmatizing these gay men? The medical community, by constantly reminding everyone that there is no shame or judgment in getting tested, and that all test results remain confidential? The activist groups like HIV Equal, who give you fancy photoshopped Facebook profile pics for you to share with the entire world (almost as if you are living without stigma!)? Never mind that we live in a time when it has never been more acceptable to be gay and to have gay sex, because, uhhh, stigma is on the rise! Introducing the leading cause of all new STD infections: Stigma.
Sorry I passed on my syphilis and my gonorrhea and my HIV to you when we had bareback sex the other night without a condom, but you know how it is. Stigma, man.
Instead of calling people out for reckless behavior (barebacking without knowing their status), our institutions have turned into politically correct, self-esteem boosting “moms” who sugarcoat and poopoo bad decisions by blaming them on elusive forces outside of our control. It’s too offensive (and remember, the last thing you want to do in the age of Alec Baldwin and Duck Dynasty is offend someone) to tell people that they’re irresponsible for not using condoms. Nowadays, that’s actually called “condom-shaming.” So, be careful! Blame people for their irresponsible behavior, and you’re only adding to the stigma. Whatever that is.
It’s 2014, and if you can’t find a way to figure out what kind of diseases you have, you aren’t a “stigmatized gay man,” you’re a pussy. And if you don’t know your status and also neglect to wear a condom? You’re a pussy and an asshole.