Point By Point: A Look At Paul Cameron’s Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do
Part 9: “The Gay Legacy”
A Plague Descends Upon the Land
February 27, 2006
We’ve seen now that with each passing section of Dr. Cameron’s pamphlet, his language becomes more strident and more alarming. And now he moves to near-apocalyptic descriptions of the how the entire nation’s health is supposedly endangered by homosexual behavior:
…Those who treat AIDS patients are at great risk, not only from HIV infection, which as of 1992 involved over 100 health care workers,21 but also from TB and new strains of other diseases.24 Those who are housed with AIDS patients are also at risk.24 Dr. Max Essex, chair of the Harvard AIDS Institute, warned Congress in 1992 that “AIDS has already led to other kinds of dangerous epidemics… If AIDS is not eliminated, other new lethal microbes will emerge, and neither safe sex nor drug free practices will prevent them.”28 At least 8, and perhaps as many as 3029 patients had been infected with HIV by health care workers as of 1992.
21. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, February 1993 (Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 1993): 1-23.
24. Dooley, Samuel W.; Villarino, Margarita E.; Lawrence, Mercedes; Salinas, Louis; Amil, Samuel; Rullan, John V.; Jarvis, William R. “Nosocomial transmission of tuberculosis in a hospital unit for HIV-infected patients.” Journal of the American Medical Association 267, no. 19 (May 20, 1992): 2632-2634.
28. Testimony before House Health & Environment Subcommittee, 2/24/92. (sic.- ed.)
29. Ciesielski, Carol A.; Marianos, Donald; Ou, Chin-Yih; Dumbaugh, Robert; Witte, John; et al. “Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus in a dental practice.” Annals of Internal Medicine 116, no. 10 (1992): 798-780.
CDC Announcement Houston Post, 8/7/92. (sic. - ed.)
Again, the “Gay Legacy” apparently refers only to gay men, and not lesbians. Let’s parse the claims:
“Those who treat AIDS patients are at great risk, not only from HIV infection, which as of 1992 involved over 100 health care workers…” The CDC’s 1993 Surveillance Report (#21) mentions HIV infections of 100 health care workers in the preceding twelve years, but that statistic is more than ten years old. It dates to very height of the AIDS crisis, and includes those health care workers who were infected before the now-established prevention practices were commonplace. But since then, simple infection prevention practices in the medical profession have greatly reduced this threat. Today, with widespread awareness of these simple and effective prevention strategies, the CDC no longer tracks it as a separate category in its annual Surveillance Reports.
“Those who treat AIDS patients are at great risk… from TB and new trains of other diseases. Those who are housed with AIDS patients are also at risk.” Dooley, et al. (#24) discussed the risk of TB among HIV/AIDS patients in a Puerto Rican public hospital. The study states that “transmission of tuberculosis (TB) to health care workers (HCWs) is a well-documented risk”, and cites four references written between 1972 and 1989 to document it. In other words, the risk of health care workers contracting TB from their patients was a very well-known risk long before AIDS came along.
While the study states that “patient-to-patient transmission of TB in HIV units can occur and that (health care workers) are at risk of acquiring TB infection,” the study simply recommended that the hospitals and health care workers follow the long-standing guidelines established by the CDC for preventing the spread of TB. This study also cites several instances in which the particular hospital in Puerto Rico failed to do so.
“If AIDS is not eliminated, other new lethal microbes will emerge, and neither safe sex nor drug free practices will prevent them.” Dr. Max Essex is a preeminent researcher in AIDS treatment and vaccination. When he testified before the House Health & Environment Subcommittee in 1992, the picture looked dire indeed. But this was before effective treatments for AIDS became widely available. Today, we can see that this alarming prediction hasn’t come to pass even after the passage of more than a dozen years. AIDS has not been eliminated, but it is treatable. For many men and women it has moved from being an automatic death sentence to being a chronic and manageable disease.
“At least 8, and perhaps as many as 30 patients had been infected with HIV by health care workers as of 1992.” Ciesielski, et al. (#29) notes only eight patients who likely became HIV-positive after receiving dental care from an HIV-positive dentist. The claim of as many as thirty patients that Dr. Cameron cites is not mentioned.
Of the eight cases investigated in the study, four had other factors in their personal history which indicated they may have gotten AIDS elsewhere. Ironically, one of the eight was a promiscuous heterosexual who “could only name 14 former female sex partners” in the previous twelve years. Genetic testing showed that five patients were probably infected by the dentist.
The authors also notes that as of 1992, only six other studies have looked at patients exposed to HIV-positive surgeons, and none of those patients become HIV-positive. The conclude:
Currently available information indicates that when health care workers adhere to recommended infection control procedures, the risk for transmitting HBV (Hepatitis B virus) from an infected health care worker to patients is small, and the risk of transmitting HIV is probably even smaller. These small risks should not deter patients from seeking necessary surgical or dental care.
The authors also note that HIV “does not remain viable for extended periods outside the body, and it is susceptible to commonly used germicides.” The conclusions of this now very old study are further reinforced by the CDC, who emphasize on their web site:
Although HIV transmission is possible in health care settings, it is extremely rare. Medical experts emphasize that the careful practice of infection control procedures, including universal precautions (i.e., using protective practices and personal protective equipment to prevent HIV and other blood-borne infections), protects patients as well as health care providers form possible HIV transmission in medical and dental offices and hospitals.VVVV
So in the end, all of the catastrophic disasters that Dr. Cameron has warned about since the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic in America have simply failed to come about. But that doesn’t prevent him exploiting unfounded fears about this disease as a blunt weapon against gay men — and lesbians.
Please continue with :
Part 10: “The Biological Swapmeet” Another dangerous thing homosexuals do: they travel.
VVVV. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention. Are Patients in a Health Care Setting At Risk Of Getting HIV? Web page (December 15, 2003): http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/faq/faq29.htm, accessed October 4, 2004.