This week the preventative drug PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) came into the spotlight in the UK due to the fact that NHS England will be appealing against the drug, known to prevent HIV, the first drug of its kind to be known to have such positive results, due to its high price point, and said controversy as outlined by the Daily Mail in their article on the front page on 3rd August 2016.
Lest we forget, the terrible epidemic that the AIDS crisis of the 80s was. Fortunately I was not born into a time where my sexuality and sex life would be branded across front pages, sending roaring shame to those involved – or so I thought, seeing as it’s 2016. In a world where we have medical advances every week, new medication that can stop and prevent some of the worlds deadliest diseases, do you, as one of the UKs biggest publications, feel OK to fuel the homophobic fire and depict this life saving tool as a ‘lifestyle drug’?
Being gay, or being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in no way is a ‘lifestyle choice’, and to even bare the notion that it in some way it is similar to choosing to do yoga, or veganism, or deciding that you want the decor of your flat to be all yellow (who would do that ???) is beyond me. Western media publications like yourself only think in your western heads, and forget about the thousands of LGBTQIA+ people in the WORLD, in places such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, where it is seen as vile and repulsive, a ‘lifestyle’ that is chosen, that results in public executions. Words have importance in this world, and they are the sole way we communicate and explore and let people know what groups are thinking. Imagine the impact this headline could have on a young, Nigerian child who feels different, but feels isolated and alone, and just wants to be accepted. Planning on coming to the UK to try and live a better life, only to be shamed and insulted as soon as they arrive.
You used a quote from a Christian Group in your article, yet a sincere lack of balance from the side of oh… I dont know, maybe an AIDS sufferer, or someone in the US, where PrEP is available in some states. This, from an actual newspaper in actual 2016, from Dr Peter Saunders, CE of the Christian Medical Fellowship, explaining how the only way to prevent AIDS is by ‘Avoiding the high-risk sexual behaviours that lead to it’. What does that even mean? So instead of helping people, and ensuring in sickness and in health, that we can live and love, you want to stop people from having ‘promiscuous gay sex’, even though AIDS is a CLEARLY just a disease derived from gay men fucking in dirty toilets at the back of Canal Street, and not a disease anyone who has unprotected sex can catch??? Good one.
I want answers. I want an explanation as to why you as a publication can do this, to taunt and demoralise and further push prejudice onto us as a community? What have we done? We live, we breathe, we eat, we sleep, we love, we hate, we scream, we laugh, as HUMANS. Yes we want to be treated equally and no we aren’t rubbing it in your faces, we are LIVING as you are LIVING. Headlines like these push people who are in serious bouts of mental illness about their sexuality, to believe the illnesses that is a part of them. Young, naive people who are learning about the world, can read your lies and your presumptions, and BELIEVE THEM. YOU have so much power, and I really REALLY want you to get in touch and tell me that you can sleep at night knowing you’re making a positive difference in the world. Because for millions of LGBTQIA+ people around the world, they want to be able to know and be assured they’re going to be able to be safe, and strong in a world where people aren’t against them, especially the media that they thought would be on their side. Headlines like this give bigots an excuse for their hatred and violence, and too many LGBTQIA+ people have died this year as a result of hopelessness for life, please don’t contribute to its growth.