Some homosexuals typically lose no time in pointing out "the overwhelming role of heterosexual behavior" in spreading HIV around the world and increasingly in the U.S.A. Let us look at what is going on.
Let us consider U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics about present day HIV infection patterns in America. Table 1 lists known routes of HIV infection among American men between June 1999 and June 2000. Among whites, homosexual behavior is still responsible for the vast majority of HIV infections, with only 4.1% of HIV infections among men resulting from heterosexual contact. Table 2 lists known routes of HIV infection among American women between June 1999 and June 2000. Among white women who contracted HIV, about half did so through heterosexual contact, and half of the latter got it through heterosexual contact with men that either injected drugs, behaved bisexually, had hemophilia, or received HIV-positive transfusions.
|Table 1: Known Routes of HIV Infections – U.S. Men (June 1999 – June 2000*)|
|HIV Infection route||White||African-American||Hispanic||Asian||Am. Indian|
|Via homosexual contact||86.5%||54.5%||71.2%||90.8%||74.4%|
|Via drug injection only||9.5%||20%||18.2%||4.6%||15.9%|
|Via heterosexual contact||4.1%||25.5%||10.6%||4.6%||9.8%|
|% Recently infected men||54.2%||30.6%||13.3%||0.9%||1.0%|
|% American male population**||75.1%||12.3%||12.5%||3.7%||0.9%|
|Notes: *CDC. Table 10. HIV /AIDS Surv Report 2000;12(1) (Data from 34 states with confidential reporting), **Census 2000, U.S. Census Bureau (number of men and women assumed to be equal).|
|Table 2: Known Routes of HIV Infections – U.S. Women (June 1999 – June 2000*)|
|HIV Infection route||White||African-American||Hispanic||Asian||Am. Indian|
|Via heterosexual contact||Risky**||22.8%||16.6%||17.5%||18.4%||26.6%|
|Via drug injection only||45.6%||38.9%||37.9%||12.1%||53.1%|
|Via blood transfusion||2.8%||1.6%||1.4%||9.1%||2.7%|
|% Recently infected women||17.9%||63.4%||17.4%||0.8%||0.6%|
|% American female population***||75.1%||12.3%||12.5%||3.7%||0.9%|
|Notes: *CDC. Table 11. HIV /AIDS Surv Report 2000;12(1) (Data from 34 states with confidential reporting), **sex with injection drug user, bisexual male, hemophiliac, or HIV-positive transfusion recipient, ***Census 2000, U.S. Census Bureau (number of men and women assumed to be equal)|
Bisexual behaviors are common among men who have sex with men (MSM). In a sample of 930 British MSM, over 60% had had at least one sexual experience with a woman and about 90% of those with heterosexual experience had engaged in vaginal intercourse with a woman.1 12% of this cohort had had sex with women in the last year, and 5% had had sex with women in the month preceding their interview. The men reported much more male than female partners, but a considerably higher incidence of penetrating women than men. Since the self-classification of those behaving homosexually need not match their behavior, a homosexual or bisexual classification is irrelevant to epidemiology, which uses the acronym MSM (men who have sex with men) instead.
In an investigation of 205 homosexual and 310 bisexual men, 33.58% of the homosexuals and 42.64% of the bisexuals had recently behaved in a bisexual manner.2
Weatherburn et al studied 745 British men who behaved bisexually in the 5 years prior to their interview.3 The respondents reported a high and equal number of male and female partners. A high proportion reported anal intercourse with female and male partners. Only a third disclosed their homosexual practices to regular female partners. Therefore, some HIV-positive women may mistakenly think that they got infected by sleeping with a heterosexual man. In this regard, in a survey of 5,156 American MSM and 3,139 women, interviewed between 1995 and 2000, whereas 34% of African-American MSM, 26% of Hispanic MSM, and 13% of white MSM reported sex with women, only 14% of white women, 6% of African-American women, and 6% of Hispanic women acknowledged having a bisexual male partner.4 Therefore, women getting HIV from African-American or Hispanic men may often mistakenly report being infected by a heterosexual man.
Homosexuality plays a stronger role in the prevalence of AIDS among Hispanics than African-Americans. For instance, 72% of the total AIDS cases among Mexicans up to June 30, 1994 were related to male homosexual behaviors, and the decline in the proportion of AIDS cases resulting from homosexuality in Mexico in the mid-1990s resulted from the increment of cases under other categories, not an actual decrement in homosexual patients.5 In general, the proportion of HIV infections spread by homosexual behavior among several non-European populations is lower than that among Northwestern Europeans because of the increased contribution of other factors, but not lesser homosexual behavior.
When reporting spread of HIV, one must report statistics by ethnicity for several reasons. A major reason is that a much greater proportion of African-American MSM compared to white MSM behave bisexually. In the NABS (National AIDS Behavioral Surveys) surveys (a probability sample of 2,664 men, 18-49 years old, in large U.S. cities), African-American men reported significantly greater bisexual than exclusive homosexual behavior compared to white men (see Table 3 below6). African-American and Hispanic men did not statistically differ with respect to exclusive homosexual and bisexual behavior (Table 3). There were too few Asians for any meaningful comparison. Additionally, in the NORC-GSS probability surveys (nationally representative, household-based surveys of adults conducted in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998), African-American men were more likely than white men to report past-year homosexual behavior and there was also a non-significant tendency for African-American men to report more homosexual behavior in the past 5 years.7 Furthermore, the prevalence of STDs, I.V. drug use, susceptibility to HIV infection, and prostitution is greater in several non-white ethnic groups compared to whites, thereby elevating the risk that individuals belonging to such groups will get infected with HIV.
|Table 3: Homosexual only vs. Bisexual contact in past 5 years (NABS, U.S.A.); data in percentages.|
With men only (95% CI)
Men + Women (95% CI)
|White||155||71.0 (61.1 - 81.0)*||29.0 (19.0 - 38.9)*|
|African-American||19||43.1 (18.5 - 67.5)||56.9 (32.5 - 81.3)|
|Hispanic||12||65.9 (45.6 - 86.2)||34.1 (13.8 - 54.4)|
|Asian/Other||3||31.3 (00.0 - 73.6)||68.7 (26.4 - 100.0)|
|Notes: *p < 0.05.|
Heterosexuality plays a very small role in the spread of HIV among whites. However, the overrepresentation of African-Americans and Hispanics, especially African-Americans, among the HIV-positive allows homosexuals to falsely point to heterosexuality as a significant contributor to the spread of HIV in the U.S. One should note that far more African-American MSM compared to white MSM behave bisexually (Table 3) and fewer African-American MSM tell their female partners that they also have sex with men.
In 1989, African-American and Hispanic MSM accounted for 31% of AIDS cases among all MSM, but by 1998, they accounted for 52% of 18,153 AIDS cases among all MSM. (9) Likewise, among African-American and Hispanic MSM with AIDS in recent years, 5% were in the age range 13-24 years and 14% were in the age range 25-29 years, whereas 2% and 9% of white MSM with AIDS were in the same age groups, respectively.8 With an increasing proportion of African-Americans and Hispanics among Americans, it will become even easier for homosexuals to blame heterosexuality for the spread of HIV .
In 1998, out of 774 women in contact with the homosexual and bisexual communities in Sydney, Australia, two-thirds (503) labeled themselves as homosexual, 13% (100) as bisexual, and 17% (133) as heterosexual.9 212 (27%) women reported ever having sex with a homosexual or bisexual man and 51 (7%) had done so within the past six months. Recent sex with a homosexual/bisexual man was reported by 2% of the homosexual women, 8% of the heterosexual women, and 25% of the bisexual women. 25 women had recently had unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse with a homosexual/bisexual man and 48 (6%) women had prostituted themselves. 61 (8%) had injected drugs within the past six months, 23 had shared injecting equipment with someone, and 5 had shared needles with a homosexual/bisexual man. Hence, the study authors noted, “For a case of so-called 'heterosexual' transmission of HIV to occur, neither person need be heterosexual” (also see here). In this regard, one should again take a look at Table 2.
On a worldwide scale, heterosexual behavior appears as the major cause of the spread of HIV, but this is mostly due to the behavior of sub-Saharan Africans, and here too, the role of homosexual behavior and anal sex is ignored. Based on anthropologic, proctologic, and the infectious diseases literature, it appears that the majority of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africans, not caused by non-sterile health care practices, result from anal sex (both heterosexual and homosexual).10 In fact, in a comparison of the sexual behavior of a representative sample of high school students from Pointe-Noire, Congo with French high school students, 13% of the Congolese students but somewhat less than 5% of French students had had a homosexual experience.11 In this regard, also see a note by Wayne Dynes on homosexuality in sub-Saharan Africa.
- ^ Weatherburn P, Davies PM, Hunt AJ, et al. Heterosexual behaviour in a large cohort of homosexually active men in England and Wales. AIDS Care 1990;2(4):319-24.
- ^ J. P. Stokes, P. Vanable, D. J. McKirnan, Arch Sex Behav 26, 383 (Aug, 1997).
- ^ Weatherburn P, Hickson F, Reid DS, et al. Sexual HIV risk behaviour among men who have sex with both men and women. AIDS Care 1998;10(4):463-71.
- ^ Montgomery JP, Mokotoff ED, Gentry AC, et al. The extent of bisexual behaviour in HIV-infected men and implications for transmission to their female sex partners. AIDS Care 2003;15(6):829-37.
- ^ Izazola-Licea JA, Avila-Figueroa RC, Gortmaker SL, et al. [The homosexual transmission of HIV/AIDS in Mexico]. Salud Publica Mex 1995;37(6):602-14.
- ^ Binson D, Michaels S, Stall R, et al. Prevalence and social distribution of men who have sex with men: United States and Its Urban Centers. J Sex Res 1995;32(3):245-54.
- ^ A. C. Butler, J Sex Res 37, 333 (2000).
- ^ HIV/AIDS among racial/ethnic minority men who have sex with men -- United States, 1989-1998. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000;49(01):4-11. [Correction: MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000;49(04):91)].
- ^ Richters J, Bergin S, Lubowitz S, et al. Women in contact with Sydney's gay and lesbian community: sexual identity, practice and HIV risks. AIDS Care 2002;14(2):193-202.
- ^ Brody S, Potterat JJ. Assessing the role of anal intercourse in the epidemiology of AIDS in Africa. Int J STD AIDS 2003;14(7):431-6.
- ^ Courtois R, Mullet E, Malvy D. [Survey on sexual behavior by Congolese and French high-school students in an AIDS context]. Sante 2001;11(1):49-55.