Minister Golding’s statement that Jamaica is being pressured by a number of countries including the USA, UK and France to repeal our buggery laws reveals an amazing level of incoherence among the policy makers in those countries. T
he fact is the scientific data is clear : buggery between Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) should be actively discouraged as this activity is the substantial engine of HIV epidemics among MSM.
HIV epidemics among MSM in these very countries continue to expand and are described as being different from epidemics in other groups substantially because of the practice of anal receptive intercourse and role reversal in MSM networks.
The key messages from following article published by significant researchers from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine are clear .
The Jamaican Government does not have to be defensive about its position on buggery when the scientific data is clear about the role of buggery in HIV epidemics.
In fact and this moment of incoherence and insanity in international history what the Jamaican Government needs to do is play the role Jamaica has pledged to play in the world i.e “play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race”..
Jamaica’s National Pledge
Before God and all mankind,
I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart,
the wisdom and courage of my mind,
the strength and vigour of my body,
in the service of my fellow citizens;
I promise to stand up for Justice,
Brotherhood and Peace,
to work diligently and creatively,
to think generously and honestly,
so that Jamaica may, under God,
increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity,
and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.
xxxxxx E N D S xxxxxx
HIV in men who have sex with men 1
Global epidemiology of HIV infection in men who have sex with men
Chris Beyrer, Stefan D Baral, Frits van Griensven, Steven M Goodreau, Suwat Chariyalertsak, Andrea L Wirtz, Ron Brookmeyer
• HIV epidemics in men who have sex with men (MSM) are expanding in countries of all incomes in 2012, and these epidemics are characterised by high HIV burdens, substantial clustering of infections within networks, and high forces of infection.
• The disproportionate HIV disease burden in MSM is explained largely by the high per-act and per-partner transmission probability of HIV transmission in receptive anal sex.
• The molecular epidemiology of HIV in MSM shows substantial clustering of HIV infection, a high frequency of multiple transmitted variants, and more rapid spread through networks, challenging vaccine and other biomedical approaches to prevention.
• If the transmission probability of receptive anal sex was similar to that associated with unprotected vaginal sex, 5 year cumulative HIV incidence in MSM would be reduced by 80–98%.
• Role reversal in MSMs, whereby individuals practise both insertive and receptive roles, helps HIV spread by overcoming the low transmission rates from receptive to insertive partners. Our modelling shows that limiting MSM to either insertive or receptive roles (50% for each, as in heterosexual networks) reduced 5 year cumulative HIV incidence by 19–55% in high-prevalence scenarios.
• Casual partnerships are also a substantial driver of the epidemic in MSM. If unprotected anal intercourse in casual partnerships instead happened within long-term main partnerships, HIV prevalence would be reduced by 29–51%.
xxxxx E N D S xxxxx
JA Pressed On Gay Rights, Same Sex Marriage
HE GOVERNMENT has rejected recurring recommendations from some member states of the United Nations for the country to repeal its buggery law and legalise same-sex marriage.
Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding told members of the Upper House of Parliament in a statement yesterday that the proposals from some member countries of the United Nations did not enjoy Jamaica’s support.
There were repeated calls by some member states for Jamaica to get rid of the law relating to buggery. They claim that the law was discriminatory to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Some member states have also urged Jamaica to legalise same-sex marriage and grant more rights to LGBT persons.
The United States recommended that Jamaica repeal sections 76, 77, and 79 of the Offences Against the Person Act, which criminalise same-sex male intercourse.
In addition, the United States also wants Jamaica to ensure the protection of defendants of the rights of LGBT persons and to take measures to ensure that these persons can fully and freely exercise their rights without fear of attack or reprisal.
The Netherlands has called on Jamaica to repeal all provisions (in law) that criminalise same-sex activities between consenting adults.
Belgium, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain, France, and Australia have also made similar recommendations.
Golding’s statement came against the background of Jamaica’s participation last week in the meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. The council considered Jamaica’s report to the 22nd session of the Second Cycle Universal Periodic Review.
The justice minister told the country that he assured the council that the Constitution of Jamaica guaranteed basic human rights to all Jamaicans.
He said that in order to create greater understanding of the concerns of the LGBT community, several initiatives have been put in place.
Golding said he informed the council that the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Diversity Policy aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination and inequitable treatment towards members of the public and guides members of the force in their professional dealings with persons of particular groups, including LGBT people.
On the issue of incitement of violence against members of the LGBT community, Golding told the council that Jamaica had inserted a provision in the Offences Against the Person Act (Section 18A) in April 2014 to address this issue.
Section 18A of the Offences Against the Person Act states that a person shall not produce, record, sell, import, perform in public, circulate or play a recording of an audio, visual or audio-visual communication that promotes the killing of or other serious act of violence against any other category or group of persons.
“We are pleased to note that we detect a significant reduction in recent times of the type of music that was in the past, perhaps, offensive of this notion,” the justice minister noted.
“It is my intention to maintain open communication with the representatives of the LGBT community to identify and find ways of addressing the main concerns that affect that vulnerable community and to work proactively with my ministerial colleagues whose portfolios are particularly relevant to those concerns,” he added.