Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield is proving that it doesn't take a genius to pontificate on the origins of HIV. Of course, Anyone can talk about it, but southern lawmaker has only added to the perception that folks in the south are anti-education, anti-gay, and anti-anything that requires you to use brain power.
On Michelangelo Signorile's radio program on Sirius XM OutQ, Campfield compared homosexuality with bestiality, and told the host that it's "virtually impossible" for heterosexuals to contract the HIV virus. His whole argument regarding this patently false statement is based on opinions and rumors, and not anything that has a basis in scientific study. He told Signorile that HIV came about because of an airline pilot "screwing a monkey." And then the pilot had sex with men, and that's how HIV magically appeared in the gay community.
The myth of a man having sex with a monkey or chimp has never been proven, and the myth that HIV is a gay disease was long ago proven false. In fact, the first proven case of simian to human HIV jump is said to have occurred in the 1930s, when a hunter killed a monkey, cut it up, and cooked it for food. The animal's blood ended up in an open cut on the hunter. The disease was transmitted through heterosexual sex in Africa for decades before it ended up landing in the United States in the gay community.
It's disturbing and outrageous that a man in a position of power is saying things he knows are not true. Does anyone remember Ryan White? He was the young man who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. He was a hemophiliac and was given tainted blood during a stay there. Heterosexual men and women contract the HIV virus all the time. Babies can be infected with HIV in utero, during birth, and while breastfeeding. Drug addicts who share needles can be infected. It's not a gay disease, and Campfield either ignores this fact or chooses to pretend like it doesn't exist outside of the gay community.
Statements like these are designed for the intellectually lazy, for those who are more than willing to listen to this drivel due to preconceived notions and prejudices against the LGBT community. His belligerent and arrogant attitude is precisely what is holding back true equality in America today. Seriously, when a politician spews such nonsense, you have to wonder what the kids are learning in the state's school system.
And if you think that Campfield's name sounds familiar, you'd be right. He's the same closed-minded homophobe who introduced the "Don't Say Gay" bill to the Tennessee state legislature.