Sensationalized Sun editorial rallies Edmonton queers
Posted on February 4, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
When Sun Media published the column “A twisted pro-HIV agenda” (or “A twisted homosexual world” in some online editions) in early January, it was a wake-up call for Edmonton queers to take a stand against sensationalized coverage of gay men’s health issues.
In the column, Jacobs writes about barebacking, as well as bugchasing (willingly seeking HIV infection) and giftgiving (offering HIV to someone seeking infection) — phenomena that Phillip Banks, director of the Vancouver-based Health Initiative for Men, points out are often used as a “red herring” in dialogues about gay men’s sexual health.
“If it’s true that some men are intentionally seeking to become infected with HIV,” considers Banks, “then public health and community services must be resourced adequately in order to better understand why and to be able to offer appropriate supports to prevent this where possible.”
But the way it is most often reported in the media, adds Banks, is “scandal-mongering at its worst and distracts from the real issues contributing to poor health outcomes for gay and bi men and increasing HIV diagnoses.”
John Maxwell of the AIDS Committee of Toronto agrees. “The media reports were often from mainstream media, not gay media, sensationalizing stories about unprotected sex amongst gay men,” says Maxwell of the stories that came out a few years ago when ACT was first hearing about bugchasing and giftgiving. See Sensationalized Sun editorial rallies Edmonton queers
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