Tuesday, July 02, 2013
by Timothy J. Dailey, Ph.D.
This article was originally published by the Family Research Council in 2002.
HARMFUL ASPECTS OF OHE HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE
The evidence demonstrates incontrovertibly that the homosexual lifestyle is inconsistent with the proper raising of children. Homosexual relationships are characteristically unstable and are fundamentally incapable of providing children the security they need.
Studies indicate that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime, a lifestyle that is difficult for even “committed” homosexuals to break free of and which is not conducive to a healthy and wholesome atmosphere for the raising of children.
A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with five hundred or more partners, with 28 percent having 1,000 or more sex partners.29
In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101–500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than 1000 lifetime sexual partners.30
A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than 100 sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than 1,000 sexual partners.31
In his study of male homosexuality in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, M. Pollak found that “few homosexual relationships last longer than two years, with many men reporting hundreds of lifetime partners.”32
Promiscuity among Homosexual Couples
Even in those homosexual relationships in which the partners consider themselves to be in a committed relationship, the meaning of “committed” typically means something radically different than in heterosexual marriage.
In The Male Couple, authors David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison report that in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years: Only seven couples have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together for less than five years. Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships.33 Most understood sexual relations outside the relationship to be the norm, and viewed adopting monogamous standards as an act of oppression.
In Male and Female Homosexuality, M. Saghir and E. Robins found that the average male homosexual live-in relationship lasts between two and three years.34
In their Journal of Sex Research study of the sexual practices of older homosexual men, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that only 2.7 percent of older homosexuals had only one sexual partner in their lifetime.35
Comparison of Homosexual ‘Couples’ and Heterosexual Spouses
Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing: In Sex in America, called by the New York Times “the most important study of American sexual behavior since the Kinsey reports,” Robert T. Michael et al. report that 90 percent of wives and 75 percent of husbands claim never to have had extramarital sex.36
A nationally representative survey of 884 men and 1,288 women published in Journal of Sex Research found that 77 percent of married men and 88 percent of married women had remained faithful to their marriage vows.37
In The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, E. O. Laumann et al. conducted a national survey that found that 75 percent of husbands and 85 percent of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage.38
A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States found that 81 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women reported that they had never violated their marriage vows.39
While the rate of fidelity within marriage cited by these studies remains far from ideal, there is a magnum order of difference between the negligible lifetime fidelity rate cited for homosexuals and the 75 to 90 percent cited for married couples. This indicates that even “committed” homosexual relationships display a fundamental incapacity for the faithfulness and commitment that is axiomatic to the institution of marriage.
Unhealthy Aspects of ‘Monogamous’ Homosexual Relationships
Even those homosexual relationships that are loosely termed “monogamous” do not necessarily result in healthier behavior.
The journal AIDS reported that men involved in relationships engaged in anal intercourse and oral-anal intercourse with greater frequency than did those without a steady partner.40 Anal intercourse has been linked with a host of bacterial and parasitical sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.
The exclusivity of the relationship did not diminish the incidence of unhealthy sexual acts, which are commonplace among homosexuals. An English study published in the same issue of AIDS concurred, finding that most “unsafe” sex acts among homosexuals occur in steady relationships.41
Of paramount concern are the effects of such a lifestyle upon children. Brad Hayton writes: Homosexuals . . . model a poor view of marriage to children. They are taught by example and belief that marital relationships are transitory and mostly sexual in nature. Sexual relationships are primarily for pleasure rather than procreation. And they are taught that monogamy in a marriage is not the norm [and] should be discouraged if one wants a good ‘marital’ relationship.42
Violence in Lesbian and Homosexual Relationships
A study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence examined conflict and violence in lesbian relationships. The researchers found that 90 percent of the lesbians surveyed had been recipients of one or more acts of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the year prior to this study, with 31 percent reporting one or more incidents of physical abuse.43
In a survey of 1,099 lesbians, the Journal of Social Service Research found that “slightly more than half of the [lesbians] reported that they had been abused by a female lover/partner. The most frequently indicated forms of abuse were verbal/emotional/psychological abuse and combined physical-psychological abuse.”44
In their book Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence, D. Island and P. Letellier postulate that “the incidence of domestic violence among gay men is nearly double that in the heterosexual population.”45
Rate of Intimate Partner Violence within Marriage
A little-reported fact is that homosexual and lesbian relationships are far more violent than are traditional married households: The Bureau of Justice Statistics (U.S. Department of Justice) reports that married women in traditional families experience the lowest rate of violence compared with women in other types of relationships.46
A report by the Medical Institute for Sexual Health concurred: It should be noted that most studies of family violence do not differentiate between married and unmarried partner status. Studies that do make these distinctions have found that marriage relationships tend to have the least intimate partner violence when compared to cohabiting or dating relationships.47
High Incidence of Mental Health Problems among Homosexuals and Lesbians
A national survey of lesbians published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that 75 percent of the nearly two-thousand respondents had pursued psychological counseling of some kind, many for treatment of long-term depression or sadness: Among the sample as a whole, there was a distressingly high prevalence of life events and behaviors related to mental health problems. Thirty-seven percent had been physically abused and 32 percent had been raped or sexually attacked. Nineteen percent had been involved in incestuous relationships while growing up. Almost one-third used tobacco on a daily basis and about 30 percent drank alcohol more than once a week; 6 percent drank daily. One in five smoked marijuana more than once a month. Twenty-one percent of the sample had thoughts about suicide sometimes or often and 18 percent had actually tried to kill themselves…More than half had felt too nervous to accomplish ordinary activities at some time during the past year and over one-third had been depressed.48
Substance Abuse among Lesbians
A study published in Nursing Research found that lesbians are three times more likely to abuse alcohol and to suffer from other compulsive behaviors: Like most problem drinkers, 32 (91 percent) of the participants had abused other drugs as well as alcohol, and many reported compulsive difficulties with food (34 percent), codependency (29 percent), sex (11 percent), and money (6 percent). Forty-six percent had been heavy drinkers with frequent drunkenness.49
Greater Risk for Suicide
A study of twins that examined the relationship between homosexuality and suicide, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that homosexuals with same-sex partners were at greater risk for overall mental health problems, and were 6.5 times more likely than their twins to have attempted suicide. The higher rate was not attributable to mental health or substance abuse disorders.50
Another study published simultaneously in Archives of General Psychiatry followed 1007 individuals from birth. Those classified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual were significantly more likely to have had mental health problems. Significantly, in his comments in the same issue of the journal, D. Bailey cautioned against various speculative explanations of the results, such as the view that “widespread prejudice against homosexual people causes them to be unhappy or worse, mentally ill.”51
Reduced Life Span
Another factor contributing to the instability of male homosexual households, which raises the possibility of major disruption for children raised in such households, is the significantly reduced life expectancy of male homosexuals. A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the mortality rates of homosexuals concluded:
In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age twenty for gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.52
Concern about children placed in homosexual households who are orphaned because of the destructive homosexual lifestyle is well founded. In 1990, Wayne Tardiff and his partner, Allan Yoder, were the first homosexuals permitted to become adoptive parents in the state of New Jersey. Tardiff died in 1992 at age forty-four; Yoder died a few months later, leaving an orphaned five-year-old.53
Sexual Identity Confusion
The claim that homosexual households do not “recruit” children into the homosexual lifestyle is refuted by the growing evidence that children raised in such households are more likely to engage in sexual experimentation and in homosexual behavior.
Studies indicate that 0.3 percent of adult females report having practiced homosexual behavior in the past year, 0.4 percent have practiced homosexual behavior in the last five years, and 3 percent have ever practiced homosexual behavior in their lifetime.54 A study in Developmental Psychology found that 12 percent of the children of lesbians became active lesbians themselves, a rate which is at least four times the base rate of lesbianism in the adult female population.55
Numerous studies indicate that while nearly 5 percent of males report having had a homosexual experience sometime in their lives, the number of exclusive homosexuals is considerably less: Between 1 and 2 percent of males report exclusive homosexual behavior over a several-year period.56 However, J. M. Bailey et al. found that 9 percent of the adult sons of homosexual fathers were homosexual in their adult sexual behavior: “The rate of homosexuality in the sons (9 percent) is several times higher than that suggested by the population-based surveys and is consistent with a degree of father-to-son transmission.”57
Even though they attempted to argue otherwise, Golombok and Tasker’s study revealed in its results section a clear connection between being raised in a lesbian family and homosexuality: “With respect to actual involvement in same-gender sexual relationships, there was a significant difference between groups…None of the children from heterosexual families had experienced a lesbian or gay relationship.” By contrast, five (29 percent) of the seventeen daughters and one (13 percent) of the eight sons in homosexual families reported having at least one same-sex relationship.58
These findings have most recently been confirmed in a study appearing in the American Sociological Review. Authors Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz alluded to the “political incorrectness” of their finding of higher rates of homosexuality among children raised in homosexual households: “We recognize the political dangers of pointing out that recent studies indicate that a higher proportion of children of lesbigay parents are themselves apt to engage in homosexual activity.”
Stacy and Biblarz also reported “some fascinating findings on the number of sexual partners children report,” that: The adolescent and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to have been more sexually adventurous and less chaste. . . . In other words, once again, children (especially girls) raised by lesbians appear to depart from traditional gender-based norms, while children raised by heterosexual mothers appear to conform to them.59
Incest in Homosexual Parent Families
A study in Adolescence found: A disproportionate percentage–29 percent–of the adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by that homosexual parent, compared to only 0.6 percent of adult children of heterosexual parents having reported sexual relations with their parent…Having a homosexual parent(s) appears to increase the risk of incest with a parent by a factor of about 50.60
29 A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp.
308, 309; See also A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981).
30 Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.
31 “Sex Survey Results,” Genre (October 1996), quoted in “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January 1998, p. 20.
32 M. Pollak, “Male Homosexuality,” in Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, ed. P. Aries and A. Bejin, translated by Anthony Forster (New York, NY: B. Blackwell, 1985), pp. 40–61, cited by Joseph Nicolosi in Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc., 1991), pp. 124, 125.
33 David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 252, 253.
34 M. Saghir and E. Robins, Male and Female Homosexuality (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1973), p. 225; L. A. Peplau and H. Amaro, “Understanding Lesbian Relationships,” in Homosexuality: Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues, ed. J. Weinrich and W. Paul (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982).
35 Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile,” p. 354.
36 Robert T. Michael et al., Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1994).
37 Michael W. Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Survey,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 170.
38 E. O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 ), p. 217.
39 M. Clements, “Sex in America Today: A New National Survey Reveals How our Attitudes are Changing,” Parade, August 7, 1994, pp. 4–6.
40A.P.M. Coxon et al., “Sex Role Separation in Diaries of Homosexual Men,” AIDS (July 1993): 877–882.
41 G. J. Hart et al., “Risk Behaviour, Anti-HIV and Anti-Hepatitis B Core Prevalence in Clinic and Non-clinic Samples of Gay Men in England, 1991–1992,” AIDS (July 1993): 863–869, cited in “Homosexual Marriage: The Next Demand,” Position Analysis paper by Colorado for Family Values, May 1994.
42 Bradley P. Hayton, “To Marry or Not: The Legalization of Marriage and Adoption of Homosexual Couples,” (Newport Beach: The Pacific Policy Institute, 1993), p. 9.
43 Lettie L. Lockhart et al., “Letting out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 9 (1994): 469–492.
44 Gwat Yong Lie and Sabrina Gentlewarrier, “Intimate Violence in Lesbian Relationships: Discussion of Survey Findings and Practice Implications,” Journal of Social Service Research 15 (1991): 41–59.
45 D. Island and P. Letellier, Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence (New York: Haworth Press, 1991), p. 14.
46 “Violence Between Intimates,” Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings, November 1994, p. 2.
47 Health Implications Associated With Homosexuality (Austin: The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999), p. 79.
48 J. Bradford et al., “National Lesbian Health Care Survey: Implications for Mental Health Care,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 62 (1994): 239, cited in Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality, p. 81.
49 Joanne Hall, “Lesbians Recovering from Alcoholic Problems: An Ethnographic Study of Health Care Expectations,” Nursing Research 43 (1994): 238–244.
50 R. Herrell et al., “A Co-twin Study in Adult Men,” Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (1999): 867–874.
51 D. Fergusson et al., “Is Sexual Orientation Related to Mental Health Problems and Suicidality in Young People?” Archives of General Psychiatry 56 (October 1999).
52 Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657.
53 Obituaries, The Washington Blade, July 16, 1992.
54 A. M. Johnson et al., “Sexual Lifestyles and HIV Risk,” Nature 360 (1992): 410–412; R. Turner, “Landmark French and British Studies Examine Sexual Behavior, including Multiple Partners, Homosexuality,” Family Planning Perspectives 25 (1993): 91, 92.
55 F. Tasker and S. Golombok, “Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian Families,” p. 213.
56 ACSF Investigators, “AIDS and Sexual Behavior in France,” Nature 360 (1992): 407–409; J. M. Bailey et al., “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers,” Developmental Psychology 31 (1995): 124–129; J. O. G. Billy et al., “The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States,” Family Planning Perspectives 25 (1993): 52–60; A. M. Johnson et al., “Sexual Lifestyles and HIV Risk,” Nature 360 (1992): 410–412.
57 J. M. Bailey et al., “Sexual Orientation of Adult Sons of Gay Fathers,” pp. 127, 128.
58 Tasker and Golombok, “Do Parents Influence the Sexual Orientation?” p. 7.
59 Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter,” American Sociological Review 66 (2001): 174, 179.
60 P. Cameron and K. Cameron, “Homosexual Parents,” Adolescence 31 (1996): 772.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Traditional Values Coalition, 139 C St. SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202-547-8570; www.traditionalvalues.org.
All graphics taken from AIDS.gov (http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/statistics/)
NOTE: This article contains somewhat graphic and potentially disturbing descriptions of homosexual acts and their consequences. It is not recommended for young or sensitive readers.
December, 2003 — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on November 26, 2003, that AIDS infections increased in 29 states in 2002 among Blacks, Latinos, and Homosexual and Bisexual men. The overall rate of increase was 5.1% over a four-year period between 1999-2002. Fifty-five percent of these infections are among Blacks; there was a 26% increase among Latinos; and a 17% increase among homosexuals and bisexuals. There was a 7% increase in AIDS infections among nonhomosexuals. These CDC statistics are published in the November 28 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Dr. John Diggs, Jr., has recently published statistics on the serious health consequences of engaging on homosexual sodomy. His report, “The Health Risks of Gay Sex,” was published by the Corporate Resource Council.
Dr. Diggs notes that homosexual sodomy is an efficient transmitter of a whole range of STD’s including AIDS. He also points out that human physiology makes it clear that anal intercourse itself is an unhealthy practice that damages the body and can lead to serious health consequences—including anal cancer. “Unhealthy sexual behaviors occur among both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Yet the medical and social science evidence indicate that homosexual behavior is uniformly unhealthy,” observes Diggs.
The sexual activities engaged in by homosexuals inevitably lead to a whole range of viral and bacterial infections that can result in sterility, cancer, and death.
Sex among homosexual males typically includes: oral and anal sex; rimming (mouth-to-anus contact); fisting (insertion of the hand and arm into the rectum); golden showers (urination); insertion of objects such as bottles, flashlights, and even gerbils into the rectum; sadomasochism (beatings with whips, chains, etc.); and other practices. These various behaviors cause trauma to the rectum, contribute to the spread of AIDS; increase incidences of oral and anal cancer; and result in serious infections due to the ingestion of fecal matter.
One of the largest surveys ever conducted of homosexual sex practices was published by two homosexual researchers in 1979. In The Gay Report by Jay and Young, 37% of homosexuals interviewed indicated they had engaged in sadomasochistic activities; 23% had been involved in “water sports,” (urinating on the sex partner); 4% had been involved in defecation; 11% had been involved in giving enemas to their sex partners.
Dr. Gisela L.P. Macphail, a physician at the University of Calgary in Canada, described the serious health risks of homosexual behavior in a letter to the Calgary Board of Education in September, 1996. She is an epidemiologist and regularly treats AIDS patients. According to Dr. Macphail, “Any practice which facilitates direct or indirect oral-rectal contact will enable the spread of fecal and rectal microorganisms to the sexual partner. Thus anilingus (rimming), a common practice among homosexual men, allows direct spread of pathogens such as Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Hepatitis A and of the typical STD organisms such as herpes simplex and gonorrhea.” She warned the Calgary school district against promoting homosexual behavior among school children because of the serious health risks.
In August, 1984, just three years after AIDS was diagnosed as a public health threat to homosexuals, columnist Patrick Buchanan and researcher Dr. J. Gordon Muir published an in-depth look at the “Gay” lifestyle and the diseases associated with it in The American Spectator. Writing in “Gay Times and Gay Diseases,” the authors described a series of serious diseases comprising the “Gay Bowel Syndrome.”
Those viruses, parasites, and bacteria resulting from homosexual sexual practices include: Amebiasis, a parasitic colon disease which causes dysentery and liver abscesses; Giardiasis, a parasite that causes diarrhea; Shigellosis, another bowel disease causing dysentery, Hepatitis A, a viral liver disease spread by fecal contamination.
According to Buchanan and Muir, San Francisco saw a four-to-ten-fold increase in gay bowel diseases beginning in 1977. As long ago as 1988, San Francisco had a venereal disease infection rate 22 times the national average.
Anal Cancer — Dr. Stephen E. Goldstone, the medical director of GayHealth.com says he has found that 68% of HIV-positive and 45% of HIVnegative homosexual males have abnormal or precancerous anal cells. A 1987 study, “Sexual Practices, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and the Incidences of Anal Cancer” in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “homosexual behavior in men increases the risk of anal cancer: 21 of the 57 men with anal cancer (37%) reported that they were homosexual or bisexual, in contrast to only 1 in 64 controls.”
HIV from Oral Sex — In August, 2001, researchers at the University of California released the results of a preliminary study of the risk of getting HIV from oral sex. They claimed that homosexuals are at a zero to 2% risk of getting HIV from oral sex. But a study released earlier in 2001 indicated that oral sex is implicated in at least 8% of HIV infections. This earlier study was published in February by the CDC and the University of California at San Francisco.
HIV from Anal Intercourse — In the U.S., anal intercourse continues to be the primary transmission route of HIV infection for homosexuals. The CDC says there are 40,000 new infections each year and the rate of infection is climbing because many younger homosexuals are engaging in risky behaviors. Many have become complacent about the epidemic because of new drugs that control the progression of the disease. As a result, homosexuals are staying alive longer and infecting more individuals. As of 1998, 54% of all HIV infections were homosexuals. An estimated 1 million Americans have been infected with HIV since it was first discovered in the early 1980s. Worldwide, 21 million people have died; 450,000 Americans have died so far from HIV-related diseases.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases — A 1999 study published in the American Journal of Public Health indicated that homosexuals are five times as likely to have Hepatitis B as their heterosexual counterparts. A 1999 study in Sexually Transmitted Diseases indicated that 25% of homosexuals have rectal Gonorrhea and Gonorrhea of the throat is prevalent because of oral sex practices. The book, The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex: A Medical Handbook for Men states that more than 50% of homosexual males have the Human Papilloma Virus. Homosexuals are acquiring Syphilis in record numbers. The CDC released two reports on Syphilis in February, 2001. One report said that Syphilis rates had declined by 22% in the U.S. since 1997. The second indicated that Syphilis rates among homosexuals in Southern California had risen from 26% to 51% in one year. The report also noted that in Southern California alone, 60% of Syphilis-infected homosexuals were also HIV positive.
Tuberculosis — Homosexuals are at high risk for spreading Tuberculosis. In June-August 1998, the Baltimore Health Department tracked the spread of TB by four black transgendered homosexual prostitutes. They had infected 22 others with TB through their sexual activities. TB infection was also spread from Baltimore to New York City.
Homosexual behavior is unsafe and should not be promoted as a healthful or harmless lifestyle!
Dr. Diggs notes, “A compassionate response to requests for social approval and recognition of GLB [gay, lesbian, bisexual] relationships is not to assure gays and lesbians that homosexual relationships are just like heterosexual ones, but to point out the health risks of gay sex and promiscuity. Approving same-sex relationships is detrimental to employers, employees, and society in general.”
Homosexual sex leads to serious venereal diseases, anal and oral cancer, and death from HIV infection. This behavior must be discouraged—not promoted as an alternative lifestyle. Sodomy kills.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
The following is from the website of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The page has since been updated, but they still hold to a policy of lifetime deferral for men who have sex with men (MSM). Their current policy can be viewed at http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm The graphics were taken from the CDC fact sheet on new HIV infections in the US. It can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/2012/HIV-Infections-2007-2010.pdf
What is FDA’s policy on blood donations from men who have sex with other men (MSM)?
Men who have had sex with other men, at any time since 1977 (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States) are currently deferred as blood donors. This is because MSM are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion.
The policy is not unique to the United States. Many European countries have recently reexamined both the science and ethics of the lifetime MSM deferral, and have retained it. This decision is also consistent with the prevailing interpretation of the European Union Directive 2004/33/EC article 2.1 on donor deferrals.
Why doesn’t FDA allow men who have had sex with men to donate blood?
A history of male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for the presence of and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. FDA’s policy is intended to protect all people who receive blood transfusions from an increased risk of exposure to potentially infected blood and blood products. The deferral for men who have had sex with men is based on the following considerations regarding risk of HIV:
- Men who have had sex with men since 1977 have an HIV prevalence (the total number of cases of a disease that are present in a population at a specific point in time) 60 times higher than the general population, 800 times higher than first time blood donors and 8000 times higher than repeat blood donors (American Red Cross). Even taking into account that 75% of HIV infected men who have sex with men already know they are HIV positive and would be unlikely to donate blood, the HIV prevalence in potential donors with history of male sex with males is 200 times higher than first time blood donors and 2000 times higher than repeat blood donors.
- Men who have had sex with men account for the largest single group of blood donors who are found HIV positive by blood donor testing.
- Blood donor testing using current advanced technologies has greatly reduced the risk of HIV transmission but cannot yet detect all infected donors or prevent all transmission by transfusions. While today’s highly sensitive tests fail to detect less than one in a million HIV infected donors, it is important to remember that in the US there are over 20 million transfusions of blood, red cell concentrates, plasma or platelets every year. Therefore, even a failure rate of 1 in a million can be significant if there is an increased risk of undetected HIV in the blood donor population.
- Detection of HIV infection is particularly challenging when very low levels of virus are present in the blood for example during the so-called “window period”. The “window period” is the time between being infected with HIV and the ability of an HIV test to detect HIV in an infected person.
- FDA’s MSM policy reduces the likelihood that a person would unknowingly donate blood during the “window period” of infection. This is important because the rate of new infections in MSM is higher than in the general population and current blood donors.
- Collection of blood from persons with an increased risk of HIV infection also presents an added risk if blood were to be accidentally given to a patient in error either before testing is completed or following a positive test. Such medical errors occur very rarely, but given that there are over 20 million transfusions every year, in the USA, they can occur. That is one more reason why FDA and other regulatory authorities work to assure that there are multiple safeguards, not just testing.
- Several scientific models show there would be a small but definite increased risk to people who receive blood transfusions if FDA’s MSM policy were changed and that preventable transfusion transmission of HIV could occur as a result.
- No alternate set of donor eligibility criteria (even including practice of safe sex or a low number of lifetime partners) has yet been found to reliably identify MSM who are not at increased risk for HIV or certain other transfusion transmissible infections.
- Today, the risk of getting HIV from a transfusion or a blood product has been nearly eliminated in the United States. Improved procedures, donor screening for risk of infection and laboratory testing for evidence of HIV infection have made the United States blood supply safer than ever. While appreciative and supportive of the desire of potential blood donors to contribute to the health of others, FDA’s first obligation is to assure the safety of the blood supply and protect the health of blood recipients.
- Men who have sex with men also have an increased risk of having other infections that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion. For example, infection with the Hepatitis B virus is about 5-6 times more common and Hepatitis C virus infections are about 2 times more common in men who have sex with other men than in the general population. Additionally, men who have sex with men have an increased incidence and prevalence of Human Herpes Virus-8 (HHV-8). HHV-8 causes a cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma in immunocompromised individuals.
What is self-deferral?
Self-deferral is a process in which individuals elect not to donate because they identify themselves as having characteristics that place them at potentially higher risk of carrying a transfusion transmissible disease. FDA uses self-deferral as part of a system to protect the blood supply. This system starts by informing donors about the risk of transmitting infectious diseases. Then, potential donors are asked questions about their health and certain behaviors and other factors (like travel and past transfusions) that increase their risk of infection. Screening questions help people, even those who feel well, to identify themselves as potentially at higher risk for transmitting infectious diseases. Screening questions allow individuals to self defer, rather than unknowingly donating blood that may be infected.
Is FDA’s policy of excluding MSM blood donors discriminatory?
FDA’s deferral policy is based on the documented increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections, such as HIV, associated with male-to-male sex and is not based on any judgment concerning the donor’s sexual orientation.
Male to male sex has been associated with an increased risk of HIV infection at least since 1977. Surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that men who have sex with men and would be likely to donate have a HIV prevalence that is at present over 15 fold higher than the general population, and over 2000 fold higher than current repeat blood donors (i.e., those who have been negatively screened and tested) in the USA. MSM continue to account for the largest number of people newly infected with HIV.
Men who have sex with men also have an increased risk of having other infections that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.
What about men who have had a low number of partners, practice safe sex, or who are currently in monogamous relationships?
Having had a low number of partners is known to decrease the risk of HIV infection. However, to date, no donor eligibility questions have been shown to reliably identify a subset of MSM (e.g., based on monogamy or safe sexual practices) who do not still have a substantially increased rate of HIV infection compared to the general population or currently accepted blood donors. In the future, improved questionnaires may be helpful to better select safe donors, but this cannot be assumed without evidence.
Are there other donors who have increased risks of HIV or other infections who, as a result, are also excluded from donating blood?
Intravenous drug abusers are excluded from giving blood because they have prevalence rates of HIV, HBV, HCV and HTLV that are much higher than the general population. People who have received transplants of animal tissue or organs are excluded from giving blood because of the still largely unknown risks of transmitting unknown or emerging pathogens harbored by the animal donors. People who have recently traveled to or lived abroad in certain countries may be excluded because they are at risk for transmitting agents such as malaria or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD). People who have engaged in sex in return for money or drugs are also excluded because they are at increased risk for transmitting HIV and other blood-borne infections.
Why are some people, such as heterosexuals with multiple partners, allowed to donate blood despite increased risk for transmitting HIV and hepatitis?
Current scientific data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that, as a group, men who have sex with other men are at a higher risk for transmitting infectious diseases or HIV than are individuals in other risk categories. While statistics indicate a rising infection rate among young heterosexual women, their overall rate of HIV infection remains much lower than in men who have sex with other men. For information on HIV-related statistics and trends, go to CDC’s HIV/AIDS Statistics and Surveillance web page.
Isn’t the HIV test accurate enough to identify all HIV positive blood donors?
HIV tests currently in use are highly accurate, but still cannot detect HIV 100% of the time. It is estimated that the HIV risk from a unit of blood has been reduced to about 1 per 2 million in the USA, almost exclusively from so called “window period” donations. The “window period” exists very early after infection, where even current HIV testing methods cannot detect all infections. During this time, a person is infected with HIV, but may not have made enough virus or developed enough antibodies to be detected by available tests. For this reason, a person could test negative, even when they are actually HIV positive and infectious. Therefore, blood donors are not only tested but are also asked questions about behaviors that increase their risk of HIV infection.
Collection of blood from persons with an increased risk of HIV infection also presents an added risk to transfusion recipients due to the possibility that blood may be accidentally given to a patient in error either before testing is completed or following a positive test. Such medical errors occur very rarely, but given that there are over 20 million transfusions every year, in the USA, they can occur. For these reasons, FDA uses a multi-layered approach to blood safety including pre-donation deferral of potential donors based on risk behaviors and then screening of the donated blood with sensitive tests for infectious agents such as HIV-1, HIV-2, HCV, HBV and HTLV-I/II.
How long has FDA had this MSM policy?
FDA’s policies on donor deferral for history of male sex with males date back to 1983, when the risk of AIDS from transfusion was first recognized. Our current policy has been in place since 1992.
FDA has modified its blood donor policy as new scientific data and more accurate tests for HIV and hepatitis became available. Today, the risk of getting HIV from a blood transfusion has been reduced to about one per two million units of blood transfused. The risk of hepatitis C is about the same as for HIV, while the risk of hepatitis B is somewhat higher.
Doesn’t the policy eliminate healthy donors at a time when more donors are needed because of blood shortages?
FDA realizes that this policy will defer many healthy donors. However, FDA’s MSM policy minimizes even the small risk of getting infectious diseases such as HIV or hepatitis through a blood transfusion.
Would FDA ever consider changing the policy?
FDA scientists continue to monitor the scientific literature and to consult with experts in CDC, NIH and other agencies. FDA will continue to publicly revisit the current deferral policy as new information becomes available.
On March 8, 2006, FDA conducted a workshop entitled “Behavior-based donor deferrals in the Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) era”. The workshop addressed scientific challenges, opportunities, and risk based donor deferral policies relevant to the protection of the blood supply from transfusion transmissible diseases, seeking input on this topic. Participants were given the opportunity to provide scientific data that could support revising FDA’s MSM deferral. The workshop provided a very active, open and broad-based scientific dialogue concerning current behavior-based deferrals and explored other options that may be considered and the data needed to evaluate them.
FDA’s primary responsibility is to enhance blood safety and protect blood recipients. Therefore FDA would change this policy only if supported by scientific data showing that a change in policy would not present a significant and preventable risk to blood recipients. Scientific evidence has not yet been provided to FDA that shows that blood donated by MSM or a subgroup of these potential donors, is as safe as blood from currently accepted donors.
FDA remains willing to consider new approaches to donor screening and testing, provided those approaches assure that blood recipients are not placed at an increased risk of HIV or other transfusion transmitted diseases.
1. Germain, M., Remis, R.S., and Delage, G. The risks and benefits of accepting men who have had sex with men as blood donors. Transfusion 2003; 43:25-33.
2. Busch MP, Glynn SA, Stramer SL, Strong DM, Caglioti S, Wright DJ, Pappalardo B, Kleinman SH; NHLBI-REDS NAT Study Group. A new strategy for estimating risks of transfusion-transmitted viral infections based on rates of detection of recently infected donors. Transfusion 2005, 45:254-264
3. Presentation at FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting, September 2000.
4. Soldan, K. and Sinka, K. Evaluation of the de-selection of men who have had sex with men from blood donation in England. Vox Sanguinis 2003; 84:265-273.
Monday, July 01, 2013
The following article was written by Bryan Fischer and was originally posted on RenewAmerica.com on December 9th, 2010. It can be viewed at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/101209.
The newest surgeon general’s report on cigarette smoking says the first cigarette you smoke can be the one that kills you.
The report says that there are more than 7,000 chemicals in each puff that can cause cellular damage in nearly every organ, and that tobacco smoke immediately begins poisoning the human body.
“That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack,” said Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
As long as we’re on the subject of health, what the surgeon general did not say but should have is that the same is true of homosexual behavior: the first act of gay sex can be the one that kills you.While drugs have been found to mitigate the damage done by HIV, there is no cure. Once someone contracts it, he has it for life, a life often tragically shortened by between eight and 20 years, according to the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Smoking will cut six to seven years from the lifespan of the smoker, meaning a cigarette habit is less dangerous to human health and longevity than gay sex.
According to the Associated Press, “[T]here is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke.” Same goes for participation in gay sex — there is simply “no safe level of exposure.”
The surgeon general’s office has now issued 30 — count ‘em, 30 — reports warning the American public of the dangers of smoking. To my knowledge, surgeons general have issued exactly zero reports warning Americans of the dangers of gay sex and urging restraint.
The bad news about cigarette smoking is prompting calls for the banning of cigarettes altogether.
Says nicotine expert Dr. K. Michael Cummings of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, “How many reports more does Congress need to have to say that cigarettes as a class of products ought to be banned?”
Whoa. Here’s a medical expert calling for cigarette smoking to be made illegal because of its risk to human health.
If a case can be made that cigarette smoking should be made illegal, a far better case can be made for making homosexual sex contrary to public policy, as it was in every state in the Union until 1962, and in 49 states until 1972. It’s still against the law in 12 states, although the Supreme Court, in another egregious act of judicial activism, prohibited states from governing themselves in this matter in the Lawrence ruling of 2003.
Now the surgeon general knows she can’t make it illegal in the current political climate, so she’ll settle for a vigorous effort to reduce the practice by sending a clear-cut, unambiguous message about smoking as a behavior. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you have started, stop.
Here’s an idea: since gay sex is more dangerous to human health than cigarette smoking, let’s make sure our public policies on both are the same.
I will be content at this juncture in American history for our public policy on homosexual conduct to be the same as our public policy on cigarette smoking, and for the same reason: the hazard they pose to public health.
The goal of the surgeon general’s office, since it can’t make smoking illegal, is to reduce the smoking rate from its current 20 percent to 12 percent by 2020.
We currently have between two and four percent of the population engaging in gay sex. How about we ask the surgeon general to launch a crusade to reduce the gay sex rate from four percent to one percent by 2020?
Says the surgeon general, in words that can and should be addressed to practicing homosexuals, “It’s never too late to quit but the sooner you quit the better.”
In other words, the official administration policy on cigarette smoking is abstinence. Let’s make it the official government position on gay sex.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
© Bryan Fischer
Monday, July 01, 2013
The following article is an opinion piece by Mark H. Moore, a criminal justice professor at Harvard, that was published in the New York Times on October 16, 1989. It can be viewed at http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/16/ opinion/actually-prohibition-was-a-success.html.
Although Moore only specifically addresses drug use, his article is a part of our series on homosexuality because it touches on an issue relevant to both topics. People frequently cite America’s prohibition years as proof that we cannot legislate morality, and that any attempts to do so will only create worse problems. They apply this logic to homosexuality, arguing that the law cannot be used to discourage homosexual behavior, even if it comes with severe health risks and offers no benefit to society (which, as you can see from many of the other articles we’ve posted, is the case). But did prohibition truly fail? Is using the law to discourage behavior really as futile as we’ve been led to believe?
History has valuable lessons to teach policy makers but it reveals its lessons only grudgingly.
Close analyses of the facts and their relevance is required lest policy makers fall victim to the persuasive power of false analogies and are misled into imprudent judgments. Just such a danger is posed by those who casually invoke the ”lessons of Prohibition” to argue for the legalization of drugs.
What everyone ”knows” about Prohibition is that it was a failure. It did not eliminate drinking; it did create a black market. That in turn spawned criminal syndicates and random violence. Corruption and widespread disrespect for law were incubated and, most tellingly, Prohibition was repealed only 14 years after it was enshrined in the Constitution.
The lesson drawn by commentators is that it is fruitless to allow moralists to use criminal law to control intoxicating substances. Many now say it is equally unwise to rely on the law to solve the nation’s drug problem.
But the conventional view of Prohibition is not supported by the facts.
First, the regime created in 1919 by the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, which charged the Treasury Department with enforcement of the new restrictions, was far from all-embracing. The amendment prohibited the commercial manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages; it did not prohibit use, nor production for one’s own consumption. Moreover, the provisions did not take effect until a year after passage -plenty of time for people to stockpile supplies.
Second, alcohol consumption declined dramatically during Prohibition. Cirrhosis death rates for men were 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 and 10.7 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928.
Arrests for public drunkennness and disorderly conduct declined 50 percent between 1916 and 1922. For the population as a whole, the best estimates are that consumption of alcohol declined by 30 percent to 50 percent.
Third, violent crime did not increase dramatically during Prohibition. Homicide rates rose dramatically from 1900 to 1910 but remained roughly constant during Prohibition’s 14 year rule. Organized crime may have become more visible and lurid during Prohibition, but it existed before and after.
Fourth, following the repeal of Prohibition, alcohol consumption increased. Today, alcohol is estimated to be the cause of more than 23,000 motor vehicle deaths and is implicated in more than half of the nation’s 20,000 homicides. In contrast, drugs have not yet been persuasively linked to highway fatalities and are believed to account for 10 percent to 20 percent of homicides.
Prohibition did not end alcohol use. What is remarkable, however, is that a relatively narrow political movement, relying on a relatively weak set of statutes, succeeded in reducing, by one-third, the consumption of a drug that had wide historical and popular sanction.
This is not to say that society was wrong to repeal Prohibition. A democratic society may decide that recreational drinking is worth the price in traffic fatalities and other consequences. But the common claim that laws backed by morally motivated political movements cannot reduce drug use is wrong.
Not only are the facts of Prohibition misunderstood, but the lessons are misapplied to the current situation.
The U.S. is in the early to middle stages of a potentially widespread cocaine epidemic. If the line is held now, we can prevent new users and increasing casualties. So this is exactly not the time to be considering a liberalization of our laws on cocaine. We need a firm stand by society against cocaine use to extend and reinforce the messages that are being learned through painful personal experience and testimony.
The real lesson of Prohibition is that the society can, indeed, make a dent in the consumption of drugs through laws. There is a price to be paid for such restrictions, of course. But for drugs such as heroin and cocaine, which are dangerous but currently largely unpopular, that price is small relative to the benefits.