Is that possible? Logically, an HIV activist should not be anti-gay. Or is that not so logical?
I have been reading the Lancet article about HIV and gay men in
Is it possible to be an HIV activist who is rabidly and frankly anti-gay?
Why should it be ‘impossible’? How can a person fight HIV and at the same time fight gay men, historically the most vulnerable group of human beings to HIV infection?
Reading the article, some scientific facts have been glaringly visible. Forgive me, if you are from the west and do not live the reality of an African gay man. These are things which, more than 26 years since the appearance of HIV amongst us human beings, these are facts which are known truths.
These are the facts.
- HIV/AIDS was first identified and diagnosed amongst gay men.
- Gay men were very quickly identified as a very high risk group to HIV. Highly vulnerable.
- Extensive (gay men inspired) prevention programmes soon proved that the dreaded disease could be controlled. Even before drugs were available.
And what happened in
We were, (and still are), invisible.
So, it is possible for an HIV activist to be anti-gay. Who?
Ssempa of course. Pastor Martin Ssempa.
Ok, he has also burnt condoms as bad HIV prevention measures. He is anti-Condom.
And the same individual is anti-gay.
He has won awards for his anti-gay activism. He has started gay witch-hunts in society, in church. His aim is clear, and he has stated it often. To Eliminate Homosexuality from the Country. He is a very (the most) vocal anti-gay activist in the country, if not on the continent. He believes that gay people are the depths of evil. And he believes that gay Africans, gay Ugandans should not have HIV prevention programmes. In his words, having an HIV prevention programme for gay Ugandans would be furthering the homosexual agenda. True, here are the exact words as quoted. “These people are just looking at ways of legitimising their practice, which is illegal and deviant in our society,” said Pastor Ssempa. “Our previous experience showed us that bringing homosexuals into campaigns against HIV only gives them a chance to propagate their illegal and unnatural acts.”
“These people are just looking at ways of legitimising their practice, which is illegal and deviant in our society,” said Pastor Ssempa. “Our previous experience showed us that bringing homosexuals into campaigns against HIV only gives them a chance to propagate their illegal and unnatural acts.”
So, Ssempa believes that, it is better for gay Ugandans to get HIV than for the country’s moral purity to be risked by making sure that gay Ugandans get an HIV prevention programme.
Better to have HIV than to have homosexuals.
I know, if you are from the west, you are shaking your head. Is it possible? (Oh, I had forgotten that this illustruous HIV activist did testify to the US Congress. It is in the west...!)
Absolutely. And, just to rub some salt into the wounds of your incredulity, let me inform you that the individual is a Christian, who does all this in the name of Jesus, and loving homosexuals. He is an outstanding, upright man, fiery, hell and brimstone preacher and messenger of god.
Anyway, this would all not matter if he stayed at home and did nothing about his pet hate. Truth, if I sat back and didn’t write these articles, these posts, my incredulous examination of Ssempa would remain a personal issue. So it is with him…
Ssempa is a very powerful man, a huge fish in a small pond. Granted, he is not as huge as Kayanja, the pastor that he spitefully accused of homosexuality. But Ssempa is big. He moves in rarefied circles. He hobnobs with the president, was in fact a representative of the First Lady when he testified in the
Fact, 25 years after the start of this epidemic, gay Ugandans have just started getting access to information. To know that they are at risk, (oh, they thought they were not. After all, HIV prevention was frankly heterosexual. Why not assume that homosexual sex is risk free?) They have just learnt that oil based lubricants destroy condoms. They are learning that condoms, when used correctly, do protect. And, they are learning that the necessary, life saving, water-based lubricants are not available in the country. Yes, we are learning. Slow, but surely. It is a global village. Knowledge couldn’t be hidden completely, and forever. Let us for a moment remember the thousands of our friends who have died needlessly of HIV, who are living with a virus they could have prevented.
Granted that Ssempa follows ‘moral HIV prevention’, but God help us immoral, useless sinners. HIV prevention for those of us who are homosexual is not moral. So, by that criteria, it is entirely consistent to be an HIV activist who is fiercely anti-homosexual. Anti-gay.
He wants tougher laws, (current laws allow us to talk to other people, and to have sex. Though, if caught, we risk a life time in prison.) He doesn’t want a gay HIV prevention program in
This is a question I have asked before. Look up the word, it means the elimination of a group of people defined by a characteristic. Intentional elimination.
I cannot truthfully say that Ssempa DOESN’T know that HIV is a major problem amongst gay men. Does he want gay Ugandans to get HIV? He will say no. He doesn’t. His actions for upward of 25 years have intimated something else. He has the knowledge, but he stands in the way. His actions say he wants gay Ugandans to get HIV. He will deny them knowledge of HIV prevention. He will deny them condoms. He will deny them water based lubricant. He will allow them the ignorance of believing that they are not particularly at risk from HIV. Infection, death by hate and ignorance.
Reminds me of Jesus (read him as a philosopher and you will be surprised at the depth of his insight.) Jesus was railing against Pharisees. They stand in a doorway, and don’t enter. And they refuse every one else from entering.
Apt. Very apt.
An anti-gay HIV activist? In the virtual, un-earthly, reality of