Friday, March 24th, 2023

The US:Haiti Transmission of AIDS

The US:Haiti Transmission of AIDS:
A Case Study in the Failure of Organized Skepticism in Science

abstract of a Kindle publication by Stephen O. Murray
Posted May 31, 2018

Published  May 30, 2018, by El Instituto Obregón
San Francisco, CA

The original identification of a syndrome of opportunistic infections suggesting impaired immune functioning among gay men during the early 1980s provided a basis for re-medicalizing moralistic condemnations of male homosexuality and led to positing homosexual American sex tourism to Haiti as an explanation for the Haitian epidemic without any evidence that Haiti was a favored site for such tourism.

The emergence and repetition of claim-making about homosexual tourism to Haiti during the mid-1980s are reviewed. Removal of a “recent Haitian immigrant” risk group and maintenance of others at a time when behavior rather than identity had been established as the vectors of infection for the Human Immunodeficient Virus show considerable non-scientific influence on public health classification. (Eventually, analysis of stored blood samples showed that HIV moved from central Africa to Haiti to the U.S.)


About The Author

Stephen O. Murray grew up in rural southern Minnesota, earned a B.A. from James Madison College (within Michigan State University), an M.A. from the University of Arizona, a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (both in sociology), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley (in anthropology). He is the author of American Gay, Homosexualities, etc. and lives in San Francisco.