Literatus: ‘Masahol’ and the HIV/Aids facts

MANNY Pacquiao’s recent “masahol” statement has caused controversy among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community and among inclusive proponents in our society and abroad.

However, even when seen from scientifically objective eyes, the mental images generated from such a pronouncement take basic biological science with surprising accuracy. From what we regularly see, you cannot see male dogs just hitting on other male dogs in the street.

Although I feel that statement was unnecessary, I cannot accuse Pacquiao of inaccurate use of biological facts.

Moreover, there are epidemiological issues that the statement is trying to indirectly address. The growing prevalence of HIV/Aids is worsening by the year. When I was in college 20 years ago, there was no case of HIV/Aids in Cebu City. Last year, Cebu City was number one among Philippine cities with the highest prevalence of HIV infection among males who have sex with males.

In Region 7, Cebu leads among the provinces. Regionally, Central Visayas ranked second to the National Capital Region in total number of people living with HIV.

And this growing phenomenon is not confined here. For instance, a study in Wenzhou, China between 2013 and 2014, which involved 424 men having sex with men (MSM), showed 53.5 percent are being treated for Aids, 48.1 percent refused to be tested for HIV/Aids, and only 14.1 percent tested negative. Of these participants, 88.8 percent engaged in anal sex, 79.7 percent engaged in male oral sex, and less than half engaged in vaginal sex. The study was reported in BMC Public Health (2015) by leading researcher Qiaoqin Ma of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Moreover, the MSM group has multiple sexual partners; regular, casual and commercial sex; and without condom use. The problem gets complicated when they have sex with females or their partners have sex with female partners, which victimizes unsuspecting females and spreads infection.

Gay proponents justify this behavior and the HIV/Aids rate with a shrug because straight males, too, have their share of non-HIV/Aids diseases. However, they should do better than that because such justification categorizes them among those with alcoholism and drug dependency problems. It categorizes them not as healthy citizens, but as diseased members of the community.

Perhaps the better option is to discipline themselves against these unhealthy sexual behaviors. However, they may protest, how can they enjoy their sexuality if that should be so, considering the fact that their bodies are male?

Then, that reasoning will bring us back to the fundamental homosexual problem: gays cannot have heterosexual intercourse because they are all males; and they should not have sexual relations with men because of HIV/Aids. That’s exactly the biological point that Manny Pacquiao tried to make with his nasty use of words.

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