Courtland Milloy writes in a recent Washington Post column:
I propose a TV public service announcement that goes something like this: You see a man holding a gun to a woman’s head and pulling the trigger while professing his love for her.
Voiceover: “Is that any different from what a ‘down-low brother’ does when he has unprotected sex with other men, then comes home and has sex with his unwitting wife?”
I sure hope this is a satire. The proposal does a really good job at demonizing and pathologizing men on the down-low, but completely fails to address the larger structural issues that are so crucial here. Why are men on the down-low? Is it because being gay is just not acceptable in their culture? What effect does denial of homosexuality and the threat of harm towards gay men have on fueling the AIDS epidemic by pushing male-male sex underground?
Throughout the history of AIDS, people have often used the issue to bolster their own prejudices (“AIDS was invented so that God could get rid of homosexuals”). We should not let this happen again, and must push for greater acceptance of homosexuals in all communities instead of demonizing them.