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Analysis: Why are gays excluded from some clinical trials?

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  1. Of course it’s discrimination, for one plain, simple reason — sex between two men is still considered shockingly taboo by closed-minded breeders, and the people behind these studies obviously think gay men having sex with each other should be discouraged, or at the very least ignored. So why would they care if any gay man is experiencing erectile dysfunction? They’d probably think it was funny, or even say that all gay men should be castrated, just so they won’t have to think about how “icky” their sexual activities are. We still have a really long way to go before we achieve full equality.

  2. The usual homocentric, persecutionist reaction to a practical situation. And as always, anything that is not seen as pro-gay is automatically deemed “homophobic”.

    Many people already agree that homosexuality has at least some basis in genes. A lot of tests are based on typical “norms”, if they throw in any kind of curve ball that they don’t know of the effect, it can dramatically alter the outcome of a test. It’s not they don’t like gay people, it’s simply they cannot calculate for them.

    I know of a childless couple that tried everything to have kids, and finally succumbed to rather bizarre lengths, probably more out of desperation than logic, to drink nun’s urine. Apparently there is a high oestrogen content due to the fact they are ‘virginal’. You may laugh, but it worked. It may have been totally suggestion and psychosomatic, but again, there might be some truth in it. One has to rely on what one knows, otherwise one is just groping in the dark.

  3. This would mean that the product or drug has been tested on straight men not gay men. They should be made to say on the packaging “We have no research on this drug’s effects or side effects on gay men”. The drugs firms that test on gay as well as straight men would have a head start in terms of a bigger marketshare.

  4. Steve: By your logic, you won’t have any drugs because you are neither a mouse or a guinea pig. Prat.

  5. Pumpkin Pie 2 Apr 2010, 1:06pm

    That was a very interesting article. I’d never really thought about people being denied access to experimental treatments before, and it is rather worrying. It seems this copy-paste methodology has its roots in many areas of science. Sometimes, things just go on and on in the fashion that scientists are used to until the methodology is so at odds with modern life that they’re forced to look into changing it.

    Hopefully they’ll do so soon. There’s really no reason not to. All we need is enough people like Daniel James asking questions (polite ones – remember, this is not a case of direct discrimination), and eventually it will become unambiguously clear to scientists that reform is in order. Unfortunately, for that to happen, more people will have to made aware of this situation. Hopefully an established LGBT group will take an interest, otherwise this might take a good while.

  6. Commander Thor 2 Apr 2010, 2:06pm

    Rob_N, despite your deep internalised homophobia and self-hatred, your comments are not usually this stupid.

    1. “Many people already agree that homosexuality has at least some basis in genes. A lot of tests are based on typical “norms”, if they throw in any kind of curve ball that they don’t know of the effect, it can dramatically alter the outcome of a test. It’s not they don’t like gay people, it’s simply they cannot calculate for them.”

    The correct way to account for this is to include the same fraction of gay men in the study as in the general population, not to exclude them completely!

    2 “I know of a childless couple that tried everything to have kids, and finally succumbed to rather bizarre lengths, probably more out of desperation than logic, to drink nun’s urine. Apparently there is a high oestrogen content due to the fact they are ‘virginal’. You may laugh, but it worked. It may have been totally suggestion and psychosomatic, but again, there might be some truth in it. One has to rely on what one knows, otherwise one is just groping in the dark.”

    Very interesting.

    3. Steve: By your logic, you won’t have any drugs because you are neither a mouse or a guinea pig. Prat.

    They do get tested on humans at some point, so I don’t follow your logic here. Maybe it makes more sense to someone else here?

  7. I agree. We should just totally let ourselves be not included in any medical science:

    1) Many medicines (15% or so like the article stated) for sexual problems will never work on gays. There was even more trial III incidents, which means other medicines will never be able to save us either. They just don’t want to make us sad and label the medicine to tell us.

    2) LGBT are so genetically different that we’re an entirely new species. Mice share 97.5% of genes with humans. Chimps share one percent more than that with humans. Gays are so “abnormal” that we must not share any DNA in our chromosomes with our distant cousin, the straight, which is why we are never asked to participate in medical trials. Hell, maybe we don’t have DNA, since DNA would mean we all originated from the same single organism.

    3) All animals are straight. Since scientists cannot ask if an animal is straight, and gay genes would surely mess up their observations, then you can rest assure all animals are straight.

    4) Because of like-wise reasons in number 2, LGBT must never be allowed to share blood. That blood ban is so fair. After all, it is proven that LGBT have AIDS because it is God’s wrath [citation needed].

    5) Homo sapien straightus has every right to try and change their distant cousin, flaming homo sapiens, into straights with therapy. Science always knows best, so I don’t understand why people aren’t lining up… the castration saves you of the trouble of 15% of sexual medicine not working… Would you like chemical castration, the ol’ snip-snip, or we can change you into the opposite gender if you wish?

    6) Males and female trials are separated because of a difference in genes. Never mind that this difference in genes is XX versus XY, an obvious difference in the chromosome. Gays have the chromosomes HO and MO. These chromosomes are the reason we are so different from straights with XX and XY chromosomes. Like the scientists say, “we just can’t find the gay gene yet”. It must be lost somewhere in those HOs and MOs.

    If you haven’t caught on, this is complete satire. Y’know, making fun of things by agreeing with them (when you don’t).
    I would write more, but I am running out of time here on the computer.
    I don’t agree with this exclusion. My knowledge of genetics won’t allow it, especially since they have no definite proof.

  8. Emmarainbow 2 Apr 2010, 6:04pm

    I’m reminded of that ‘G-Spot unfound’ article a couple of months ago – the study prevented lesbian/bi women from filling out, and refused to include any evidence that wasn’t penis-in-vag at the time – poor methodology to get the results you want to get a lot of the time. Maybe they feel, not having the same experience, that the results with LGB people in the mix too would be too unpredictable to risk all that money on including them?

  9. Discrimination is rife in the NHS. Why is it that people suffering erectile dysfunction that have diabetes type 1 or 2 can get free viagra so that they don’t have to give up on a sex life.
    While people who have to take other medications including HIV and heart disease drugs have to buy viagra. Which is too expensive if your living on below poverty level income. With new ESA rules, people suffering these life changing illnesses are routinely refused incapacity benefit and parked on Job seekers allowance. Another piece of discrimination of the disabled, that the government has managed to push through, with the backing of the very charities that are meant to be representing us. What a joke they are!

  10. This issue can be olved easily. Let’s just get Gay researchers to carry out the research on Gays…

  11. As both a gay man and a scientist, I can see why this is upsetting but also in some cases why it should be done. Clinical trials are scientific experiments, and the first rule of science experiments is to control as many possible contributing factors as possible. Bear in mind, this article is about treatments for “sexual problems”. Most of these are not life or death situations, and gay vs. straight could skew the results. Doing as Pumpkin Pie suggests and including a sample of gay subjects representative of the population at large is one solution, but presents its own problems as well. In order to accurately see if a difference seen in gay subjects over the straight population is real vs statistical you must have a large enough sample of gay men and women. This means your overall sample size must be much larger. Larger clinical trials leads to more time to develop the drug and higher drug costs when they get on the market. Plain and simple for some drugs this is impractical. Granted this argument only holds in cases relating to treatments that might have different effects on the gay population than the straight one, such as erectile dysfunction.

    Besides, there is one point that this makes that a lot of people are ignoring. By claiming that homosexuals may have a different reaction to the drugs, they are pointing out one thing that is for certain. There is a biological difference between gay and straight. You cannot claim it is simply a “choice”.

  12. To Randal, please explain how erectile dysfunction is a biochemical problem which affects gay men and straight men differently…? As far as I can see, the only difference would be the individual’s mental and emotional perception of whatever stimuli is causing an erection to occur. Other than that, the chemistry of blood flow to the penis would be exactly the same, regardless of whether it’s being caused by excitement over a man or a woman.

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