J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Dec 1;58(4):408-16.
Men who have sex with men have a 140-fold higher risk for newly diagnosed HIV and syphilis compared with heterosexual men in New York City.
Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Disease Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City, NY, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
To describe the population of men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City, compare their demographics, risk behaviors, and new HIV and primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis rates with those of men who have sex with women (MSW), and examine trends in infection rates among MSM.
Population denominators and demographic and behavioral data were obtained from population-based surveys during 2005-2008. Numbers of new HIV and P&S syphilis diagnoses were extracted from city-wide disease surveillance registries.
We calculated overall, age-specific and race/ethnicity-specific case rates and rate ratios for MSM and MSW and analyzed trends in MSM rates by age and race/ethnicity.
The average prevalence of male same-sex behavior during 2005-2008 (5.0%; 95% CI: 4.5 to 5.6) differed by both age and race/ethnicity (2.3% among non-Hispanic black men; 7.4% among non-Hispanic white men). Compared with MSW, MSM differed significantly on all demographics and reported a higher prevalence of condom use at last sex (62.9% vs. 38.3%) and of past-year HIV testing (53.6% vs. 27.2%) but also more past-year sex partners. MSM HIV and P&S syphilis rates were 2526.9/100,000 and 707.0/100,000, each of which was over 140 times MSW rates. Rates were highest among young and black MSM. Over 4 years, HIV rates more than doubled and P&S syphilis rates increased 6-fold among 18-year-old to 29-year-old MSM.
The substantial population of MSM in New York City is at high risk for acquisition of sexually transmitted infections given high rates of newly diagnosed infections and ongoing risk behaviors. Intensified and innovative efforts to implement and evaluate prevention programs are required.
Whatcott defends anti-gay flyers as case lands in Supreme Court
By Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News October 12, 2011
Photograph by: Ted Jacob/Postmedia News/Files
OTTAWA — As Canada’s top court prepared to hear a pivotal case that pits freedom of speech and religion against the rights of homosexuals, William Whatcott continued to do what he’s been doing for more than a decade — hand out anti-gay flyers.
Outside a courtroom Wednesday, the 43-year-old Edmonton man said he distributed some 3,000 flyers since arriving in Ottawa two days earlier. It got him kicked off the Carleton University campus and he was even approached by four police officers in the city’s downtown.
“I gave one to each of (the officers) and I said, ‘I hope you guys read this,'” he told Postmedia News.
“I believe I have 2,000 years-plus of church history on my side that homosexual conduct is wrong and I believe I have a right to express that.”
The flyers express his opposition to teaching children about homosexuality in public schools and attack homosexual behaviour, particularly a personal ad in a gay magazine that appears to promote pedophilia. They decry sodomy and suggest “homosexuals want to share their filth and propaganda” with children.
The pamphlets landed him before the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and a tribunal ordered him to pay $17,500 to four individuals who were offended by his words.
The decision was overturned on appeal and now the Supreme Court has been asked to reconsider the case — the first of the fall session and an important one heard by just seven Supreme Court justices, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper has yet to fill two positions left vacant when Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron announced their retirements in May.
While the Commission argued there are limits to free speech when it degenerates into hate as is the case in this situation, Whatcott’s lawyer argued his client’s comments are based on the truth, are a reflection of his religious beliefs and that there’s a difference between hating the conduct of homosexuals and hating homosexuals, themselves.
Outside the courtroom, Whatcott explained where his views come from.
Addicted to drugs and living on the street at the age of 18, he offered his drug dealer sexual favours as payment. He was also raped while living at a federal halfway house.
“It’s a little inaccurate to say I was gay,” Whatcott said. “It’s just, if you have no moral boundaries, you can try anything.”
Then things changed.
“In a graveyard, I was high on glue. Not a friend in the world. Sleeping outside,” he said.
“There were different people that picked me up hitchhiking that would share the gospel with me and that sort of came through that day.”
He hopes the Supreme Court will uphold last year’s ruling by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, but vowed to keep fighting if it doesn’t.
“Personally, I have an interest in getting out of the $17,500 fine and I suspect that they’ll be a little more robust in prosecuting me in the future for my flyers if I lose,” he said, noting he’s prepared to sit in jail if he has to, but worries that would defeat the purpose of his actions.
“My biggest concern is (for) social conservatives and Christians in this country, that we won’t be able to speak freely on these issues,” he said.
The Supreme Court decision is expected to take months, perhaps even a year.
Meantime, both Parliament and the Federal Court are looking at loosening hate laws in the name of free speech.
Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth has tabled a private member’s bill that seeks to repeal Section 13 of the federal human rights code that bans hate speech over the Internet.
He argues provisions already exist within the Criminal Code to deal with the sort of material that could truly harm an identifiable group or individual.
The Federal Court is also looking into it.
Read more: http://www.canada.com/life/Whatcott+defends+anti+flyers+case+lands+Supreme+Court/5540609/story.html#ixzz1sgHjwaBM