Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Jamaica Observer - "Figueroa wants buggery law repealed"

* IRMA member Ruben del Prado (pictured), had this to say to Dr. Figueroa in an email after this story was published:
"Enfin… and the ‘a-word’ is used! Finally: calling a spade a spade Hope that “unprotected anal sex” would now be more openly discussed in the Caribbean; also as a more common-than-spoken-about sexual act between men and women."

del Prado is Country Coordinator for Guyana and Suriname, UNAIDS Secretariat

November 4

Montego Bay, St James - Head of Epidemiology and AIDS in the Ministry of Health, Dr Peter Figueroa, has called for an urgent repeal of Jamaica's buggery law, stating that this would greatly help in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"From the public health point of view, this is an extremely important measure," Dr Figueroa said Friday. He was addressing reporters on the final day of the eighth annual general meeting of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club in Montego Bay.

According to the epidemiologist the "outdated law", which has been cited by legal advocates as serving no useful purpose, serves only to push stigmatisation of homosexual men and drive the spread of the dreaded HIV.

"When we stigmatise men who have sex with men, it drives not only the epidemic underground, but it also moves men who have sex with men to disguise their sexuality," explained Figueroa, who was recently awarded with the Order of Jamaica - the nation's fourth highest honour - for his work in HIV/AIDS education/prevention.

As such, he said some men, in order to disguise their true lifestyles, take on a girlfriend and have sex with these women, who are unaware that they are really homosexuals.

"This acts as a bridge in terms of HIV transmission from the gay community, where rates of HIV are very high, into the general population and continues to feed the epidemic," Figueroa charged.
Unprotected anal sex, he noted, was a very high-risk means for HIV transmission and although the epidemic is primarily heterosexual, there is a significant contribution through risky unprotected sex among men.

He added that his call was purely from a public health standpoint and not on any moral grounds.

"By removing the buggery act and sending clear signal to the community that they are included in the society, it helps to promote personal responsibility for safe sex," Figueroa told reporters.

Read the rest.


Imar said...

him muss be outta him raasclawt mind...him neva hear weh we bloodclawt prime minister seh..."NOT IN OUR BUMBOCLAWT CABINET!!!"

Anonymous said...

Imar, you likkle bit too hignarant, you ere! The Cabinet is a specific domain of government. The law needs to be repealed across the society because of the real costs to the society. You can continue to nurture your ignorance and hatred just fine. However, there are more important matters at stake than whether persons like you are able to recognize the diversity of human sexuality.

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