Legal Insurrection provides the background.
The background is that the Belize Supreme Court is considering a court case seeking to overturn Section 53 of the criminal code, which bans some forms of homosexual behavior, specifically male-on-male sodomy. Argument was held in May 2013 but there has been no decision as of this writing.
The highly charged nature of the case pits a coalition of international gay rights activists against some Christian churches and groups.
Enter Dr. Brendan Bain, who retired as a Professor in 2013 from the University of West Indies. While still a professor, in 2012 Dr. Bain submitted testimony in the form of an Expert Report in the case (embedded in full at the bottom of this post).
[...]The general thesis of the Expert Report was as follows, in part:
This report shows that the relative risk of contracting HIV is significantly higher among men who have sex with other men (MSM) in Belize than in the general population. This is also true in several other countries for which data are available, including countries that have repealed the law that criminalizes anal sex and countries where the law still applies.
So did the report contain false information? No.
From the Jamaica Observer.
The National AIDS Committee (NAC) early Thursday issued a statement saying that “it takes no issue with, and has no objection to the actual content of the report of Professor Brendan Bain to the Court in Belize”.
Bain was fired from his post as director of the Regional Co-ordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) by the University of the West Indies for statements regarding men who have sex with men that he made as an expert witness in a Belize court case.
But according to the NAC, “there is nothing in that report which is contrary to, or offensive to the work of the National AIDS Committee.”
The NAC is a non- government organisation established in 1988 “to facilitate multi-sectoral collaboration to reduce the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on the Jamaican society and promote an informed, supportive and caring environment that empowers persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.”
[...]In his report, Professor Bain highlighted for the court that homosexual men were at higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexual transmitted infections and that a supportive environment is needed at the community and governmental levels to enable high risk groups to access and practice safe sex.
What’s wrong with saying that men who have sex with men are at a higher risk of contracting HIV / AIDS? It’s not politically correct, so he had to go.
I’m sure his numbers were similar to those of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which makes the same point about men who have sex with men.
CDC numbers were also recently reported in the Washington Times.
Teens and young adults now account for more than a quarter of the new cases of HIV identified in the United States annually, and a clear majority of those cases involve young gay or bisexual men, the federal government said in a major new survey Tuesday.
Of the nearly 48,000 new HIV cases identified in the United States in 2010, the latest year for which complete data are available, more than 12,000 involved teens and young adults, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found in its latest report.
About 72 percent of these new HIV cases in younger adults occurred in young men who are gay or bisexual, according to the CDC report.
[...]According to the CDC figures, black youths accounted for the largest share of new HIV cases, with Hispanic youths and white youths accounting for about 20 percent each.
About 1.1 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States. Some 47,129 new HIV cases were identified in 2010.
The CDC’s new report, “Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, Risk Behaviors Among Youths, United States,” estimated that youths aged 13 to 24 accounted for 12,200, or 26 percent, of new HIV infections in 2010.
Of these new cases, 7,000 were among black youths, 2,390 were among Hispanics, and 2,380 were among whites.
About 8,800 cases were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.
HIV/AIDS is incurable, and an estimated 17,774 people with AIDS died in 2009. Some 619,000 persons have died of AIDS in the United States since the epidemic began in the early 1980s, according to the CDC.
I’m really not sure why people who insist on suppressing numbers like this think they are doing good. If something is dangerous, the good thing to do is to tell other people the danger. Not to fire people who tell other people the danger. That’s wrong.