Tennessee State Senator thinks heterosexual people don’t get HIV/AIDS

September 9, 2014

AIDS, Sexual Orientation


“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex…very rarely [transmitted].”

“What’s the average lifespan of a homosexual? it’s very short. Google it yourself.”

“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”

– Tennessee State GOP Senator Stacey Campfield during a 2012 interview talking about HIV/AIDS

Campfield is attempting to perpetuate dangerous and false myths about HIV/AIDS and homosexuality.

His first statement is also a danger to public health. It is entirely possible to contract HIV/AIDS through heterosexual intercourse, because semen, vaginal fluid, and blood can all transmit the HIV virus. In fact, the majority of people with HIV today are heterosexual.

Furthermore, the myth that gay men have shorter lifespans is based on a debunked study by Paul Cameron.

In 1994 Cameron read through several urban gay community papers, and wrote down the ages of people in obituaries and news stories, computed the average, and reported it as their average life expectancy. This has no statistical validity.

John Karon, a statistician for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aptly stated: “You’re only getting the ages of those who die.” Gay men in the same generation who are still alive will not be included in the sample, no matter how numerous they are. Gay men who are not listed as gay in their obituary are also overlooked.

Lastly, Campfield is attempting to equate homosexuality with bestiality, and is again wrong. According to The Origin of AIDS by Canadian infectious disease specialist Jacques Pepin, DNA evidence shows that the first transmission of HIV from monkeys to humans was in the 1930s when a hunter killed and chopped up a monkey for food.

We need to discuss public health policy, but smart policy can’t come from ignorant distortions of scientific and medical facts. Campfield tells others to look these things up on Google, but perhaps he should first take his own advice.

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About jslachman381

I'm a Yale graduate who majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

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4 Comments on “Tennessee State Senator thinks heterosexual people don’t get HIV/AIDS”

  1. elizabetcetera Says:

    I guess all these women who had HETEROSEXUAL intercourse are making things up:


    It’s sad how little science knowledge the vast majority of US politicians have. 😦




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