The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Tenn. Lawmaker: Only Gay Men Can Get HIV

Tenn. Lawmaker: Only Gay Men Can Get HIV

A Tennessee state representative incorrectly claimed that HIV cannot be transmitted through heterosexual sex.

Rep. Stacey Campfield told Michaelangelo Signorile on his radio show Thursday, "My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex ... very rarely [transmitted.]"

Campfield also traced HIV being transmitted to humans to the story of a pilot who had sex with a monkey, but that mythology has been debunked, and there is no evidence of monkey-to-human sexual transmission, as Signorile writes on The Huffington Post. The story was debunked in the esteemed 2011 book The Origin of AIDS by Jacques Pepin.

Campfield, the Republican sponsor of the "don't say gay" bill, also told Signorile that gay people are overly glorified in the media, there's too much attention being paid to antigay bullying in schools, and that only heterosexuality should be taught in classrooms.

Tags: Health, Health

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