Sadly, this story is a given. It shows that those homophobic countries are also very strongly religious. It proves that, yet again, religion itself is the one most dangerous thing in society. To intentionally create fear esp in the light of things like HIV is not only criminal but surely again human nature.
One can imagine trying to buy condoms in overtly Catholic countries like Lithuania, or even Poland. At least this complete chocolate teapot of an organisation that calls itself the European Union should force all member states to make contraception available to all as a human right. For once, they may actually gain an ounce of respect from us cynics.
I have to disagree here. This isn’t Africa. You can buy as many condoms as you like in Poland and Lithuania without any kind of stigma. You can’t blame religion or conservative attitude of a country if someone is too lazy to use protection.
As the article points out, getting information and advice on the subject is where the problem lies.
Lucius: OK, I stand corrected, but you cannot deny that the Catholic attitude to contraception does not affect the transmission of STDs.
As far as Africa is concerned, there is a common attitude amongst men that condoms are “unmanly” and ‘real men’ don’t need them.
There are still strongly instilled misbeliefs and old-wives tales that they would rather trust than some meddling health care worker or doctor.
I wish these backwards countries would learn that where there is homophobia, there is fear and shame, and when there is fear nd shame, peoople will engage in risky sex. I am no expert and so could be way off base here, but I suspect that much gay sex in these homophobic countries is of the “down low” variety (it would have to be with their drconian laws)–I wonder if some of these poor chaps don’t subconsciously feel they deserve to be punished in some way. This is what homophobia, fear and shame do to gay men sometimes.
The reson that I say that is that I can’t tell you how many gay men there were whom I cared for whilst working for hospice who honestly hated themselves and felt that their getting AIDS was a just punishment. Fortunately as attitudes became more enlightened I saw that tendency becoming less and less. However, I did hospice care in San Francisco, which is a reasonably enlightened place. I can’t even imagine how much horrible it must be to be GLBT in some place like Uganda.
It would be far better to let GLBT people live their lives openly with no stigma from others and to provide safe sex counselling if necessary. I have seen too many times what happens when people come to hate themselves.
We certainly need to find some way of combatting those religious fanatics (like Ratzi the Nazi) who lie and say that condom use does not help to preevent HIV infection. This has been a major factor in the spread of HIV amongst straights in Africa ( oh and note to the homohaters out there: AIDS is far more a straight disease in Africa than it will ever be a “gay disease”. If my memory serves me correctly, this has been the case from the beginning.