Maybe that public education campaign should start with daytime television.
GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), along with the Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition, have taken out a full page ad in Variety urging ABC and The View to correct statements made on its June 22 show regarding the transmission of HIV. From New York Daily News,
During a discussion about the FDA ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, “View” co-host Sherri Sheperd and guest host D.L. Hughley said that secretly gay African American men are to blame for increased HIV rates among straight African American women.
“When you look at the prevalence of HIV in the African American community, it’s primarily young women who are getting it from men who are on the down low,” Hughley said.
Shepherd added, “It’s so big in the black community with women because they’re having sex with men who have been having sex with men.”
In case you missed the fear-mongering episode of “Oprah” that introduced middle America to the concept, a black man is said to be “on the down low” when he is in a straight relationship but secretly sleeps with other men.
The buzzterm has been used to explain the alarmingly high rate of HIV among African Americans and the skyrocketing rate of new infections in black women. But, as is often the case with catchy phrases of the moment, it’s too easy an answer, and it’s been thoroughly debunked as a causal (or even correlative) theory. Black women are far more likely to contract HIV by having unprotected sex with a man who uses intravenous drugs or has multiple partners.
Apparently Hughley didn’t get that memo — but ABC sure did when GLAAD launched a letter-writing campaign to alert the network to the error. And how did ABC respond when confronted with this embarrassing misstep? It didn’t, at all. So, GLAAD ran its impossible-to-miss ad (PDF) in Variety. It read: “When The View talks about these kinds of issues, people listen. And there’s a responsibility that comes with that.” Not only did the episode in question spread dangerous misinformation, but it also has the potential to stoke homophobia and racism. So far, though, the network is ignoring its responsibility and sticking with the silent treatment — surprise, surprise.
Mini-Roundup: A new poll shows Texans overwhelmingly support comprehensive sex education. Maybe they’ll put it in a textbook!
Louisiana tightens up abortion laws – OneNewsNow
Dublin pregnancy center, others targeted by pro-choice organization study – Pleasanton Weekly
Judge to hear arguments on new Nebraska abortion law – Columbus Telegram
Moran counters he is prolife – Kiowa County Signal
Judge to hear arguments on new Nebraska abortion law – Lincoln Journal Star
Abortion debate could impact Wis. governor’s race – Chicago Tribune
Nebraska Judge Hears Arguments on Anti-Choice Law – Ms. Magazine
Pregnant Woman Beaten With Bat, Police Say – WLKY Louisville
‘Friday Night Lights’ Tackles Abortion – The Stir (blog)
Dude you’re such a pill – Chicago Flame Online (subscription)
Seriously, A Battle Over Contraceptives? – Tapped (blog)
Internet groups sue Mass. over new obscenity law – The Associated Press
Blocking Access to Birth Control – Mother Jones
Many women opting for long-term birth control – Daily Camera
Poll: Texans support sex ed in schools – San Antonio Express
Obama to Announce new HIV/AIDS Strategy– Voice of America
“Liberté! Egalité! Fierté!” — Dispatch from the Paris Pride Festival – Campus Progress
HIV Infections Drop Sharply among Young People – Voice of America
Man Faces 2 Additional HIV Charges – WJXT Jacksonville
‘The View’ Slammed for HIV Comments – FOXNews
“The View” Doesn’t Know Anything About HIV – Gothamist
UN moves toward quicker AIDS treatment in developing countries – Los Angeles Times
VA tech says she warned of sterilization problems – The Associated Press
Black Couples Benefit From Program to Curb Spread of HIV – U.S. News & World Report
Bill Gates Talks AIDS Vaccine Potential, Research Funding – Wall Street Journal (blog)
Obama promises commitment to combatting HIV/AIDS – The Associated Press
Don’t Be Too Quick to Judge Abortion Episode of ‘Friday Night Lights’ – Big Hollywood (blog)
Child-free life suits an increasing number of professional women – Kansas City Star
Six Months On, Haitian Moms Still Need Health Care – Huffington Post (blog)
Laura Berman Dillon’s abortion position will matter – The Detroit News
BAUER & ALLOTT: Bringing science to the abortion debate – Washington Times
Karrie Galloway, director of Planned Parenthood of Utah – Salt Lake City Weekly
The New UN Agency for Women – New York Times