Thursday, 6 July 2017

A politician didn't know HIV could infect straight people - 2016


The ignorance is just beyond me, especially as it was just last year. It seems the Northern Ireland pollie was so steeped in religion that he had no idea that heterosexuals could contract HIV. 

How could somebody in 2016, being part of a political group with influence over society, have absolutely no idea about this? Has he never heard of Africa? What staggering stupidity. How can this ignorance happen in modern times?

Addressing the Assembly, Mr Clarke said: "When I came here in 2007, I would have dismissed the possibility that I would speak about HIV today, because I was one of those who did not understand the stigma attached to it."

The DUP MLA added: "I have to put on record my thanks to Jacquie Richardson from Positive Life. Meeting her for the first time was a turning point for me, having been ignorant of the fact that the disease also affects heterosexual people.

"For that reason, I have no difficulty supporting what the motion calls for," he said. "The work that Positive Life did in changing my opinion - not only my opinion but that of many others - helped to remove the stigma."

Mr McCann had proposed an amendment to the DUP MLAs' motion which highlighted that HIV has a disproportionate impact on gay and bisexual men.

The Foyle MLA was not in the assembly chamber at the time, so his amendment was not moved. BBC