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“These gays must just stop it.”

“Nothing I hate like homosexuals, the founders of AIDS!” “If they burn with sex desire why can’t they quench it with a woman?” These comments and more greeted an article posted on The Sowetan Live website. The story has attracted a considerable amount of negative comment, even though it was only jettisoned into cyberspace 45 minutes ago.

The article covered Anova health Institute’s MSM and HIV focused Top2Btm symposium which ran from Monday to Wednesday in Cape Town.

The comments left by indignant members of the public ironically further the points made by Anova’s James McIntyre, who lamented the lack of HIV prevention programmes aimed at men who have sex with men (MSM). The tirade also brings to light the homophobia that continues to exist in South African society, which is often touted as a progressive African country in contrast to anti-gay Uganda or Zimbabwe.

The homophobic and misinformed remarks left by some posters reveal the stigma that still attends homosexuality in general and homosexuality and HIV. It is exactly this attitude that has gone some way to driving homosexuality underground and thereby retarding HIV prevention efforts within the community.



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