AIDS Concern’s view on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance
(15/2/2013) AIDS Concern hopes to take this chance to clarify misunderstandings about homosexuality, anal sex and HIV/AIDS infection. First, we have to clarify that homosexual sex is not equal to anal sex. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation which is the emotional and sexual attachment and attraction between two individuals with the same gender. Anal sex is a sexual practice which can happen in relationships of different sexual orientation. One who is emotionally or sexually attracted to a same sex partner can express their affection in many different ways other than anal sex. To confuse homosexuality with anal sex or to believe that homosexual sex equals anal sex is misleading the public. Besides, one of the transmission routes of HIV is unsafe sex. Regardless that it is vaginal sex or anal sex, unsafe sex is considered a high risk behavior which can lead to HIV infection.
Over the years the men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) community has been heavily impacted by HIV and AIDS, and recent figures from the Department of Health show that there is again an increasing trend in HIV infection among the MSM community in Hong Kong. From the view of public health, remaining silent about sexual orientation discrimination cannot help in enhancing the health and well-being of the community. On the contrary, it may hinder HIV prevention work. Therefore, society should be consulted on the Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance as it will allow for a more holistic point of view on improved sexual health. Failing to provide proper legal protection for minorities will hamper their health. Only by building an inclusive and caring society we will keep HIV prevalence low. Public consultation on the Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance must be an integral part of it.