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#4440: AIDS and Haiti: Dorce replies to Scott


In a message dated 06/27/2000 8:10:46 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Alan Scott 
<chiefalan@yahoo.com writes:

<< I would have thought that in the year 2000 we were
 beyond thinking of AIDS as a gay disease. Given the
 toll that this disease has taken on all people--gay,
 straight, black or white, as well as Haitian--it is
 not something to attribute to one group of
 individuals. Whether or not Haiti had gay tourism
 under the Duvalier regime is immaterial--this is a
 disease that affects all--regardless of race or sexual
 orientation. >>
While this is true, the way Haiti's AIDS problem started and swept into the 
heterosexual population was with gay men on holiday.  I saw it myself when I 
visited a gay men's hotel in Bizoton with a journalist doing a story.  Haiti 
was prime for this kind of exploitation; young heterosexual boys and men who 
didn't have any means to make a living, being bought by gay men (foreigners, 
not Haitians) going there for exactly that purpose.  Then they go back to 
their wives and girlfriends to spread the virus.  Haitians don't have 
intravenous drug habits for obvious reasons so that is not a vehicle for 
spreading AIDS.  It was a fact of the time that these "sexual vacation 
packages" existed for gay men who wished to sun and you-know-what.  I know 
this is a sensitive subject and not popular to  speak of, but sociologically 
and economically, it ruined Haiti.  It might have spelled the end of Duvalier 
but also tourism, the life blood of Haiti.  AIDS is not shameful in itself, 
but it certainly isn't noble either.  Take the blame when it applies.  

Kathy Dorce