Letter is ignorant of gay people | Letter
January 2, 2013 · Updated 3:51 PM
I was stunned by the ignorance of Edward Bell’s letter “Gay people who want to adopt should prove they don’t have AIDS.” I am not gay, HIV positive, or adopting children but could not let such a silly letter go unanswered.
Mr. Bell’s assertions fly in the face of a wide body of knowledge regarding the transmission mechanisms for HIV.
According to the CDC:
“HIV is most commonly transmitted through specific sexual behaviors (anal or vaginal sex) or sharing needles with an infected person. It is less common for HIV to be transmitted through oral sex or for an HIV-infected woman to pass the virus to her baby before or during childbirth or after birth through breastfeeding or by pre-chewing food for her infant.
In the United States, it is also possible to acquire HIV through exposure to infected blood, transfusions of infected blood, blood products, or organ transplantation, though this risk is extremely remote due to rigorous testing of the U.S. blood supply and donated organs.
“Some health care workers have become infected after being stuck with needles containing HIV-infected blood or, less frequently, when infected blood comes in contact with a worker’s open cut or is splashed into a worker’s eyes or inside their nose. There has been only one instance of patients being infected by an HIV-infected dentist.”
As far as I can tell, the implication of Mr. Bell’s letter seems to be that gay adoptive parents will either be having risky sexual behavior with their adoptive children, pumping them full of heroin with dirty needles, or performing organ transplants on them. I doubt that anyone willing to endure the adoption process would be doing these things and would be more than well informed about any risks from breastfeeding and/or pre-chewing of food.
Mr. Bell states that “there are millions of homosexuals in the United States with HIV/AIDS, but screening for the disease is not widely done or routine.” Once again, according to the CDC, “At the end of 2009, an estimated 1,148,200 persons aged 13 and older were living with HIV infection in the United States, including 207,600 (18.1 percent) persons whose infections had not been diagnosed.” Not quite the plague of “millions of homosexuals” Mr. Bell estimates are lurking everywhere.
Mr. Bell should be ashamed of his lack of knowledge and his apparent projection of gay people as pederast organ transplanting junkies.
Jason Shaw, Kirkland