Tennessee State Senator Falsely Claims HIV Came From The Gay Community, Cites Advice Column From 1988 As Evidence

Tennessee state Rep. Stacey Campfield

Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R), the man who sponsored Tennessee’s “don’t say gay” bill and once compared homosexuality to bestiality, now has a theory about the spread of HIV/AIDS. On Thursday, Campfield told the Huffington Post’s Michelangelo Signorile that it’s virtually impossible to spread HIV/AIDS through heterosexual sex and that AIDS came from the gay community:

Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”

“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex…very rarely [transmitted].”

Campfield went on to add that the lifespan for gays and lesbians is “very short. Google it yourself.” Campfield justified his comments by citing an advice column from 1988 and a Christian apologetics website.

But the facts don’t back up Campfield’s vicious lies. Most women who have been infected with HIV were infected through heterosexual sex, many from their husbands or boyfriends. In 2007, women made up more than 60 percent of adults living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Global Council on Health reports that the male-to-female transmission of HIV is twice as likely as the female-to-male transmission. Not to mention the fact that his claim that gays and lesbians have shorter lifespans has already been thoroughly debunked.

Campfield has a history of degrading the LGBT community. But his lies downplay the HIV risk that women face by trying to incorrectly make it only a gay issue.


Campfield defended his outrageous comments, saying he was simply speaking “on the fly,” and that while he’s not an AIDS historian, “I’ve read and seen what other people have read and seen and those facts are out there.”

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