Recent Daily Cal news article implies HIV is just a queer issue

Willow Yang/File

I read the recent Pride edition of The Daily Californian, published on June 27, 2019, with indeed pride, but also some confusion and sadness. As the editor’s note suggests, “the Bay Area has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion ever since 1969.” I was surprised, then, to see that the article “UCSF encounters obstacles to HIV research” didn’t mention the important role researchers had in the development of the San Francisco model of care for HIV+ and AIDS patients. In fact, it didn’t seem to mention the LGBTQ+ community at all. 

As a result, I was left wondering why the article was in the Pride issue. I appreciate that it discussed current research being done at a UC, but didn’t see the connection to our LGBTQ+ community. Perhaps a discussion of how rates of infection are declining in the white gay male population compared to men of color would have been an interesting article. Or a historical overview of AIDS research in the Bay Area, or an article on the relevance of current HIV/AIDS research to the LGBTQ+ community.

By not including some kind of link to the LGBTQ+ community, this article further stigmatizes our HIV+ brothers and sisters by implying (since it’s in the Pride issue) that HIV is simply a “gay” issue. Let’s not do that.

Margie Winn is a student affairs officer in the UC Berkeley Earth and Planetary Science department. 

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