According to Obama, if a behavior is socially stigmatized, you get more of it. If a behavior is accepted and approved by society, you get less of it.
In a statement reflecting on the 35th anniversary of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “report on what would later be understood as the first documented case of AIDS,” President Barack Obama said Sunday that “stigma and silence” “foster transmission” of the virus, which is most often spread through men having sex with men, according to the CDC.
“We’ve learned that stigma and silence don’t just fuel ignorance, they foster transmission and give life to a plague,” Obama said. “We’ve seen that testing, treatment, education, and acceptance can not only save and extend lives, but fight the discrimination that halted progress for too long.
I am just barely old enough to remember at the start of the AIDS epidemic when WFB suggested that people who have AIDS should be marked as a warning to potential partners. He was attacked as a bigot. Fast-Forward to the 2010′s and hiv positive gay men proudly sport biohazard tattoos to strut their status, and there are entire websites devoted to celebrating and promoting HIV transmission.
Does this sound like “stigma” to you?
The whole “bug-chasing” thing is kind of fascinating if you’re into deviant psychology. I feel like it all started because HIV positive men still wanted to get laid, so they created this whole thing about how sexy and authentically ghey it was to have HIV.
Think of it as analogous to the seen in ‘Billy Madison’ where Adam Sandler wets his pants and tells all the kids, ‘It’s the coolest!’ Originally, he does it to take away the stigma of pants-wetting so that a kid who wet his pants doesn’t feel bad about it. The result is that all the kids then wet their pants because Adam Sandler convinced them that it’s cool.
And, of course, there’s this whole “Domination/Submission” dynamic that a lot of gays find erotic. Not to mention, becoming HIV positive makes one an instant “Victim-Hero” in a culture that celebrates self-inflicted victimhood.