Is AIDS a “Gay” Disease?

“HIV is a gay disease.” This is a myth that refuses to die. Misinformation, fear, ignorance and media sensationalism continue to fuel this myth in America. For every one person like me trying to tell the truth about HIV transmission, there seems to be a dozen shrieking, simpleminded, natural-born dullards with a staggering inability to grasp reality. HIV is not a gay disease. Nope.

David Salyer, AIDS Survival Project.1


Almost all of the major homophile groups used to tell us that HIV/AIDS is not a “gay” disease. They claimed that it should not be associated with homosexuality in any way, shape or form because this allegedly led to the “stigmatizing and scapegoating” of homosexuals.

3d illustration of HIV virus

The HIV virus


This assertion was an essential component of the carefully-engineered campaign intended to convince us that homosexuality is just as healthy as heterosexuality. Anyone who disagreed or attempted to present scientific evidence to the contrary was not debated, they were simply shouted down and labeled “dullards” or “bigots.”

But as evidence piled up, the allegation that homosexuality and HIV/AIDS were unrelated was no longer defensible, and those who denied the connection were increasingly perceived as disconnected from reality. The primary evidence that the majority of people afflicted with this disease was provided by the Centers for Disease Control in its annual HIV Surveillance reports.

Eventually, even the leaders of the homophile movement had to publicly acknowledge the connection. For example, Matt Foreman, former Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, admitted:

Internally, when these numbers come out, the “established” gay community seems to have a collective shrug as if this isn’t our problem. Folks, with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi, we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own that and face up to that.2

The plain truth is this — Only behavior change will reduce or eliminate any sexually transmitted disease, and the first step to stopping HIV/AIDS in its tracks is to recognize what kind of behaviors help it propagate. In a sense, the homosexual “special rights” movement is actually perpetuating this awful disease with its actions and attitudes.

70% of all new cases of HIV still occur in homosexual and bisexual men.3

graph showing percentage of new HIV cases occurring in homosexual and bisexual men


The Role of the Right to Privacy

All people have a God-given right to privacy. This right covers legitimate relationships, such as those between husbands and wives, doctors and patients, attorneys and clients and clergy and penitents. However, American courts have ruthlessly mined the Constitution to illicitly expand the right to privacy to include abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, pornography ― and now, ersatz homosexual “marriage.”

This expanded right to privacy is not simply some theoretical construct that has little or no application in real-life situations. Homosexual groups have used it to cripple government efforts to curb the very disease that is killing them by the thousands every year.

Organized “gays” have blocked blood screening for HIV, fought the closing of homosexual bathhouses, advocated for the legalization of both male and female prostitution, shut down contact tracing and sexual partner notification, opposed criminalizing the deliberate infection of another person with HIV-AIDS, and promoted the use of condoms, which have a six to eight percent failure rate.4

HIV positive test sample with medical forms. Is AIDS a gay disease?


Blaming Others for AIDS

The radical homosexual lobby still accuses the government of so-called “AIDS genocide,” and asserts that the Feds “have blood on their hands.” This attitude is in keeping with the special rights activist’s compelling need to shift the blame for their entirely avoidable predicament onto others.

To show how out of touch the mainstream media is with reality, Newsweek Magazine, which has featured AIDS on its cover no fewer than twenty times, laid the blame for the AIDS epidemic at the feet of “homophobia and religious leaders steeped in moralistic doctrine who have suppressed honest conversation about how to stop it.”5

We really must ask — Was it priests and preachers who encouraged men to go out and have sex with hundreds of anonymous partners? Did they command homosexuals to grossly abuse drugs and alcohol so that their judgment was impaired or destroyed? Did the preachers direct them to fanatically battle any and all AIDS prevention measures?

Or is it the media that is complicit in so many deaths, because it refuses to back time-tested public health measures, and instead coddles, promotes and excuses everything the special rights movement does?

In perhaps the most extreme statement of self-excusal, Harry Hay, founder of the first homophile organization in the United States (the Mattachine Society), accused conservatives of developing and spreading the AIDS virus. Hay claimed that “I share with many people the secret, sneaking sensation that, on one level or another, it [AIDS] may have been introduced by reckless Republican reactionaries of the stripe of Ronald Reagan. Not Reagan himself — he’s too stupid.”6


Disproportionate Funding for AIDS Research

Contrary to the high-profile posturing by Hay and many others, the facts show that federal expenditures on AIDS research, education and prevention per person are much greater than for any other killer, including all heart diseases, strokes or cancers, even though the latter diseases cause many more deaths. As syndicated investigative journalist Michael Fumento has noted:

A death is a death. We are getting less return for the money than if we left it in the research of cancer and other diseases. People will die of those diseases because of the shifting of money to AIDS. We will never know their names, and no one will ever knit them a quilt or block the Golden Gate Bridge for them.7

One indicator of the priorities our country sets on health care is the amount of money spent on disease prevention relative to the impact that disease has on the general population in terms of deaths, lost days of productivity due to sickness, and other measures.

AIDS now claims an extremely high and disproportionate share of limited research and preventions funds. During the decade 2011-2020, annual National Institutes for Health (NIH) expenditures per death for HIV/AIDS were 232 times that for heart disease, 211 times greater than stroke, 49 times that for lung diseases, and 49 times that for cancer.8

cancer patient woman looking out window

The federal government alone has spent $650 billion on AIDS and its victims. These federal expenditures work out to more than $800,000 per person who died of HIV/AIDS during the epidemic — and this number does not include direct assistance from state and local governments and private funding.9

All of this shows the power of the homosexual lobby as it greedily gobbles up every penny it can get its hands on for its very small percentage of the population, thereby depriving millions of others of badly-needed assistance. Christopher H. Foreman, a political analyst with the Brookings Foundation, says that homosexual demands for unlimited AIDS money constitute “a remarkably successful lobby. In an era of diminished budgetary resources, many other things in the public health sector will not get money.”10

AIDS deaths have decreased by more than two-thirds since its peak in 1996, but federal funding has more than doubled during this time.11

This is exactly what pro-family people are talking about when they deride “special rights” for homosexuals. For millions, the debate is more than theoretical: Nobody will ever be able to calculate the number of people who have died because their diseases lacked researchers to work on them due to the massive diversion of funds to AIDS. The funding for AIDS is gigantic and constantly expanding, while other diseases that kill far more people go begging for even the basics.

LGBT activist parade

But still AIDS funding climbs relentlessly, because lawmakers know that if they vote against any increase, the homophiles will instantly brand them as “hate-filled bigots” and “homophobes.” Congressman Ernest Istook said:

The media pressures and influences depict AIDS as the horrible disease as opposed to one of many horrible diseases. There is frankly a fear among many members of Congress that they will be depicted as people lacking in compassion if they dare mention that [other diseases] afflict far, far more Americans and cost this country far, far more than AIDS does.12


Final Thoughts

Thanks to the strenuous efforts of the medical profession, AIDS has been transformed from an automatic death sentence into a chronic debilitating disease. The death toll has decreased dramatically, but the number of people living with AIDS is steadily increasing, putting a huge strain on the health care system.

It would not be so if the special rights movement had behaved responsibly since the appearance of the disease.



[1] David Salyer, AIDS Survival Project. “Getting it Straight: HIV as a Gay Disease is a Myth that Refuses to Die.” The Body website, March 1999.

[2] Matt Foreman, outgoing Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, on February 11, 2008. Described in “Top ‘Gay’ Organization Comes Clean: ‘HIV is a Gay Disease.’” LifeSite Daily News, February 14, 2008.

[3] See Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2019 [“HIV Surveillance Report,” Volume 32]. In this resource, the most important graphic is Figure 6, “Diagnoses of HIV Infection among Adults and Adolescents, by Transmission Category, 2019 — United Sates and 6 Dependent Areas.” This figure shows that 70% of all new diagnosed infections among men were in homosexuals and only 7% were among heterosexuals.

[4] According to the National Gay Task Force, screening donated blood for HIV is “scapegoating” and “stigmatizing” [Journal of the American Medical Association, February 4, 1983; New Dimensions Magazine, March 1990].

[5] Claudia Kalb and Andrew Murr. “Battling a Black Epidemic.” Newsweek Magazine, May 16, 2006.

[6] Outweek Magazine, June 27, 1990, page 95.

[7] Quoted in Alan K. Ota. “Outing.” The Oregonian, June 24, 1990, page M1.

[8] Annual Deaths are from United States National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports (NVSR). “Deaths: Final Data for 2011” [Volume 63, Number 3] to “Deaths: Final Data for 2019” [Volume 70, Number 8]. Table B or C in each volume. Fiscal Year 2011-2020 research expenditures are from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes for Health. Annual Reports entitled “Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC).”

[9] Kaiser Family Foundation. “Fact Sheet: U.S. Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS: Trends over Time,” March 2019.” Also other Kaiser publications in this occasional series.

[10] As described in Alan K. Ota. “Outing.” The Oregonian, June 24, 1990, page M1.

[11] Kaiser Family Foundation. “U.S. Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS: The President’s FY 2016 Budget Request,” April 13, 2015. Table 1, “Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS by Category, FY 2010 – FY 2016 Request (US$ Billions).” Also other Kaiser publications in this occasional series.

[12] Michael Fumento. “The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease.” The American Spectator, December 1998.

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3D rendering of an artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization of an egg cell

Reproductive Technology

Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.


  1. Aden on June 8, 2021 at 5:10 PM

    Aids is not a ”Gay” disease.

  2. Jackamo on August 15, 2021 at 9:27 AM

    With 70%+ of the world’s total infected population, you would have thought that any article about HIV/AIDS would have at least mentioned Africa. I mean you have two African regional directors and your front page features a lovely heartwarming African scene so why would you omit this continent from your article?

    With a deeply prejudicial attitude to homosexuality, Africa is one of the least “gay” places on this planet. In half the countries you could be arrested for being gay, in some you could even be put to death, yet there is so much HIV/AIDS!

    It’s also a deeply religious place, often adhering to strict Christian traditions. Catholicism is practiced widely, with it being the major religion in many african nations. Nations like Lesotho, where a quarter of all adults are living with HIV/AIDS. Abstinence is not working so well for them.

    Africa has around seventeen million children orphaned due to AIDS, about a quarter of those kids have the virus themselves, mostly passed from mother to child. This seems like a pretty substantial number for a “gay” disease!

    Sarcasm aside, you clearly don’t care about people suffering due to this virus and you especially don’t care about Africa despite your “regional directors” and front page image, (isn’t virtue signalling a tool of the atheistic left?). What you do care about is pushing your own opinion that homosexuality is sinful/dirty/wrong, which would be fine if you were just honest about it. Write a damned piece stating why homosexuality is proscribed in your religion because I can respect your religious beliefs even if I disagree with them. What I cannot respect is a thinly veiled “hit-piece” that twists/omits data to demonise a group of people.

    • kenny on November 5, 2021 at 10:04 PM

      amen amen amen well spoken the lord Jesus loves gays as much as he loves anyone. sad that some people still believe we “gays” are trying to suppress their free speech. If I suppress free speech for someone who I do not agree with. I would be suppressing my own as well. Furthermore, this opinion piece is mute as aids is a HUMAN disease not a GAY one. God bless you and may he touch your heart.

    • Mark on December 29, 2021 at 1:04 AM

      Kind of odd, in Africa, South Africa the country has the highest percentage of AIDS HIV cases on the entire continent. Pretty odd coming from the only country that legalized same-sex “marriage” and has open homosexual bars and nightclubs.
      Think there’s a connection?

    • HLI Staff on March 11, 2022 at 2:46 PM

      Thank you for voicing your concerns. It is true that AIDS in Africa is an important topic not covered here. This article is meant to address causes of the AIDS crisis in the United States. We have other resources that discuss AIDS in Africa ( and To put it simply, the AIDS problem in ‘developed’ nations is caused mostly by homosexuality, and the same problem in Africa is caused by the proliferation of condoms. Totally different study areas.

      We understand that it can be difficult for many people to hear how closely homosexuality is linked with the spread of AIDS in the United States. Our goal is not to demonize anyone, but to show how further suffering can be prevented through behavior change.

      As a Catholic apostolate, we do teach that homosexual behavior is wrong for spiritual and moral reasons ( But everyone’s life is equally valuable, regardless of sexual orientation. People who experience homosexual attraction deserve to know how certain behaviors may affect their health. If the gay rights movement had been honest about this in the first place, they could have saved their community a great deal of suffering by promoting prevention.

  3. Michael Van Uytven on February 14, 2022 at 8:44 PM

    If AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuality, how do you explain lesbians?

    • HLI Staff on February 17, 2022 at 2:53 PM

      Thank you for the question, Michael. AIDS is not God’s punishment for homosexuality, it is a disease with a high efficiency of transmission in people who engage in known high risk behaviors, such as “anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment” ( website: AIDS is not unknown in lesbians who use drugs or identify as bisexual and have male partners, for instance.

  4. Shawn on July 8, 2022 at 6:07 PM

    Excellently presented and thoughtful article.

    Only an unreasonable person would even attempt to find any fault in it. The facts are the facts.

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