LGB Alliance co-founder displays basic ignorance about HIV prevention drug PrEP
The co-founder of anti-trans group LGB Alliance, who last week denounced LGBT+ clubs in schools, has now turned his attention to HIV-prevention drug PrEP.
Malcolm Clark made the comments during a conversation with a person who said it wasn’t homophobic to want a “debate” about whether PrEP should be state-funded.
“Should state policy be that the best way for people to avoid HIV infection is to take a pill then have unprotected sex with people who have HIV? Saying no doesn’t amount to homophobia! It’s an issue to have a debate about,” said Women Make Glasgow.
WMG is an account that self-describes with the transphobic dogwhistle “adult human female” and was set up “with the sole intention” of opposing a trans-inclusive policy at Glasgow Council.
Clark replied: “You might not be able to pass HIV on if you’re on PrEP” – an inaccurate and misleading comment from someone who co-founded an allegedly pro-gay organisation and has used the fact he’s made science documentaries to emphasise his credibility.
PrEP is a drug for people who are HIV negative to stop them from acquiring the virus.
Clark added: “But gonorrhoea is becoming untreatable and while Hep C can now (amazingly) be cured it’s hugely expensive. I’m all for PrEP but safe sex prevents so much more than HIV.”
Clark has since been accused of “undermining the work of HIV charities” and “spreading stigmatising disinformation” about HIV.
Love to show allyship with the lgb community by *checks notes* undermining the work of HIV charities and spreading stigmatising disinformation about the condition pic.twitter.com/ZEv0IOX3Z0
— James Greig (@jamesdgreig) January 29, 2020
As was pointed out, it seems likely that Clark was confusing PrEP for ART, the anti-retroviral therapy drug given to people with HIV that lowers their viral load (the amount of HIV in their bloodstream) to an undetectable level.
People who take ART daily and achieve an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV to others, known as U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable).
Clark’s confusion is unfortunate at best, given his prominent role at the helm of a trans-exclusionary Twitter account with more than 17,000 followers.
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“LGB Alliance proving that they are definitely serious gay activists by not knowing the difference between PReP and HAART/U=U,” said one user, whose Twitter account identifies her as a lesbian called Emma.
Unsurprisingly the “LGB Alliance” isn’t just anti-trans – organizations in their orbit also disapprove of funding PreP access & demonize HIV+ gay men. https://t.co/CUdw3RauBv
— Alexander (@purplechrain) January 21, 2020
Clark’s basic ignorance about PrEP – one of the most pressing issues for other gay-rights campaigners – follows a string of embarrassing incidents for the new LGB Alliance group, including experiencing a backlash as LGB people distanced themselves from it and its new logo being mistaken for the straight pride flag.
The group also tried to broaden its appeal by releasing a pop song, “Stand Up”, to unanimously negative reviews and general bafflement.
PinkNews reached out to LGB Alliance for a comment on this story.