Robert Knight

Who’s responsible for the exploding AIDS infection rate among men who have sex with men? The men having the sex (MSMs), or the people who say homosexual sex is unhealthy and morally wrong?

Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly blames the moralists.

In her story on page A-2 of today’s Post, “Early Lessons Forgotten, AIDS Conference Told,” Connolly reports on the International AIDS Conference’s finding that HIV/AIDS is skyrocketing largely because of homosexual sex. Connolly relates the grim stats:

“MEXICO CITY, Aug. 6 -- Twenty-five years after AIDS was branded the "gay plague," the virus is again exacting a disproportionate toll on men who have sex with men, not only in the United States but also in countries where the epidemic is just emerging.

“Globally, men who engage in homosexual relations are 19 times as likely to contract HIV as the rest of the population, according to data released at the International AIDS Conference. Here in Mexico, men who have sex with men are 109 times as likely as others to develop HIV, while in the United States, 53 percent of new infections in 2006 were in gay and bisexual men.”

And what’s behind this tragedy? Connolly continues:

“Homophobia, biology and misplaced confidence that AIDS has become a treatable chronic illness…”

That’s right. Connolly lists “homophobia” as the very first cause of the surge of AIDS among homosexual men.

By this logic, health authorities who discourage smoking are actually causing the illnesses associated with smoking because of their tobaccophobia. The health authorities who fought tuberculosis by passing laws against spitting on city sidewalks were responsible for the epidemic because of their spitophobia.

The rest of the article is a mind-bending exercise in denial and political correctness. Each time Connolly acknowledges an inconvenient fact, such as that anal sex is the most efficient way to transmit the disease, she rebuts it by quoting someone who blames the spread of AIDS on the “stigma” against homosexual behavior.

Here’s a prime example:

“Simple biology also contributes to the problem, [Robert] Wolitski [acting director of the CDC’s HIV/AIDS prevention program] noted. ‘This is a virus that is transmitted more easily via anal sex than vaginal sex,’ he said.

“What worries public health leaders is that many countries, particularly in the developing world, appear to be repeating the early patterns of the epidemic.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.