Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Anti-gay industry grabs on to story about bacteria and don’t let go

Homophobia In Action

To paraphrase one of the most excellent writers of all time, Rod Serling, submitted for your approval, a difference between two agendas.

One encompasses demonizing and other encompasses informing.

It is relatively easy to guess which is which. But just in case you can't guess, I drop a hint or two:

A so-called Christian newswire site in Canada:

SAN FRANCISCO, January 15, 2007 ( - A new medical study appearing in the Annals of American Medicine shows that homosexuals are spreading a new, highly-infectious and extremely dangerous bacteria amongst themselves, most probably through anal intercourse.

The bacterium, called MRSA USA300, is impervious to front-line antibiotics and can only be treated with rarer drugs, primarily Vancomycin. Researchers say that the bug, which is a type of staphylococcus, is primed to develop immunity to that drug as well. Infected patients may have inflammation, abscesses, and tissue loss in the affected areas. Although the bacterium does not literally "eat" the body, it manufactures toxins that can cause "necrosis" - the death of surrounding tissue.

The study's authors note that the strong link between unhealthy behavior, particularly among homosexuals, is the driving force behind the disease. "Spread of the USA300 clone among men who have sex with men is associated with high-risk behaviors, including use of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs, sex with multiple partners, participation in a group sex party, use of the internet for sexual contacts, skin-abrading sex, and history of sexually transmitted infections," the authors write.

"The same patterns of increased sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men - which have resulted from changes in beliefs regarding HIV disease severity with the availability of potent antiretroviral therapy - have been driving resurgent epidemics of early syphilis, rectal gonorrhea, and new HIV infections in San Francisco, Boston, and elsewhere," add the researchers.

The study, which focused on clinics in the San Francisco area, found that in some cases up to 39% of patients had the MRSA USA300 infections in their genitals or buttocks, although the disease can be spread by general skin-to-skin contact and can even be picked up from surfaces.

Observing that "Infection with multidrug-resistant USA300 MRSA is common among men who have sex with men," the study timidly concludes that "multidrug-resistant MRSA infection might be sexually transmitted in this population," and counsels "further research."

It is estimated that in San Francisco's Castro District, which has the highest concentration of homosexuals in the country, the infection rate is 1 in every 588 residents. One in every 3,800 residents of San Francisco are infected. Homosexuals are 13 times more likely to be infected than others in the city.

The disease is not only spreading in San Francisco, but also Boston, New York and Los Angeles. In addition to homosexuals, people who are ill or have weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible. MRSA and other types of staphylococcus bacteria, often spread in hospitals, kill more than 19,000 Americans each year, a rate higher than deaths due to AIDS.

Peter LaBarbara (yes they mispelled his name), president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, is hoping that the revelation of yet another homosexual epidemic will have an impact on the public's perception of homosexual behavior. "I think that the media, and Hollywood, and a lot of our policy makers and certainly academia are in a world of 'let's pretend' with regard to homosexual behavior and its consequences," he told LifeSiteNews. "They don't want to focus on the special risks that homosexual behavior, especially between men, have in the public health arena, and issues like this keep coming up."

However, LaBarbara acknowledges that the major media will "invariably spin things in a homosexual direction."

"We saw the identical thing happen 25 years ago with the reporting on AIDS," he said, "but ironically the whole AIDS crisis strengthened the homosexual lobby in this country."

The New York Times:

A new, highly drug-resistant strain of the "flesh-eating" MRSA bacteria is being spread among gay men in San Francisco and Boston, researchers reported on Monday.

In a study published online by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the bacteria seemed to be spread most easily through anal intercourse but also through casual skin-to-skin contact and touching contaminated surfaces.

The authors warned that unless microbiology laboratories were able to identify the strain and doctors prescribed the proper antibiotic therapy, the infection could soon spread among other groups and become a wider threat.

The new strain seems to have "spread rapidly" in gay populations in San Francisco and Boston, the researchers wrote, and "has the potential for rapid, nationwide dissemination" among gay men.

The study was based on a review of medical records from outpatient clinics in San Francisco and Boston and nine medical centers in San Francisco.

The Castro district in San Francisco has the highest number of gay residents in the country, according to the University of California, San Francisco. One in 588 residents is infected with the new multidrug-resistant MRSA strain, the study found. That compares with 1 in 3,800 people in San Francisco, according to statistical analyses based on ZIP codes.

A separate part of the study found that gay men in San Francisco were about 13 times more likely to be infected than other people in the city.

The San Francisco researchers suggested that scrubbing with soap and water might be the most effective way to stop skin-to-skin transmission, particularly after sexual activities.

MRSA, for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, was once spread chiefly in hospitals. But in recent years, a number of healthy people have acquired it outside hospitals.

Nearly 19,000 people died in the United States from MRSA infections in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported.

The infection can cause unusually severe problems, including abscesses and skin ulcers. The bacteria can invade through the skin to produce necrotizing fasciitis, giving them the popular name of flesh-eating bacteria. They can also cause pneumonia, damage the heart and produce widespread infection through the blood.

Among gay men in the study, MRSA was spread by skin contact, causing abscesses and infection in the buttocks and genital area.

The new strain is closely related to earlier ones. Both are known as MRSA USA300.

The strain is much more difficult to treat because it is resistant not just to methicillin, but also many more of the antibiotics used to treat the earlier strains, said Dr. Henry F. Chambers, an author of the new study.

The new strain contains a plasmid called pUSA03.

"This particular clone is resistant to at least three other drugs, clindamycin, tetracycline and mupirocin," Dr. Chambers said in a telephone interview.

Of the alternatives recommended by the C.D.C. and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), clindamycin and a tetracycline, "this strain is resistant to two of those three," he added. "In addition, the new strain is resistant to mupirocin, which has been advocated for eradicating the strain from carriers."