Calif. Goes Easy on HIV Transmission, Then Blames Racism for Rise in STD Rates


Even for California, it’s crazy.

A state so dedicated to sexual freedom that it recently decided it’s no longer a felony to knowingly expose a partner to a potentially deadly HIV infection is finding itself confronted with a rising tide of sexually transmitted diseases.

Then decides the culprit has to be anything but the most obvious reason: It’s got to be racism.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County is facing skyrocketing rates of infection for STS like chlamydia and gonorrhea, and has embarked on an ambitious effort to fight it by introducing ever more teenagers to allegedly “safe sex” practices like using condoms.

The Times article profiles programs like “Spring Into Love,” an annual  “all-day event intended to get high schoolers more comfortable talking about sex.” It was organized by a group called WeCanStopSTDsLA, the Times reported.

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It included teenage girls in a church aditorium passing around a plastic, life-size penis and practicing the steps to affix it onto a condom. (Just what all parents expect their daughters to be doing in a church auditorium.)

It also featured discussions about anal sex. (The Times approvingly notes that one boy learned he could actually contract a sexually transmitted disease from it. The boy didn’t know that already.)

Those are practices and topics that most conservatives might not be fully behind, but just about every adult understands that reality is something that can’t be avoided. If these really are ways to keep kids safer, it’s sad, but it’s not objectionable out of hand.

The big problem is the attitude the article demonstrates when it takes a sharp swerve toward blaming something entirely outside the sexual realm. Apparently, something called “systemic racism” can be invoked to that relieves individuals of any responsibility for their own behavior – as long as they happen to be racial minorities.

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Heather June Northover, director of Los Angeles County’s recently created Center for Health Equity, told the Times that “officials need to evaluate what’s called structural or systemic racism, the way housing or education policies may negatively impact people and their health.”

As the Times reports: “Studies have found, for example, that people with HIV who had low levels of literacy were less likely to follow their treatment, and that poorer Americans were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, increasing their risk of STDs.”

That could well be. But the irony is that California is so famously libertine when it comes to sex that “risky sexual behavior” is practically part of its brand. And that has a price.

“Gay and bisexual men make up the vast majority of new syphilis cases. In L.A. County, syphilis rates among African American women are six times higher than white women and three times higher than Latina women,” the Times reported.

It’s probably a coincidence, but it should be noted that the office Northover works for, Los Angeles County’s Center for Health Equity, was created in October 2017. That was the same month that Calironia’s astonishingly inept Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that reduced the criminal charge for a person who is infected with who has sex with another person without telling them from a felony to a misdemeanor.

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Since HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, Brown and the liberal California lawmakers effectively reduced the penalty for deliberately exposing a sexual partner to a potentially deadly disease nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

So, California appears bent on continuing its decades-long practice of condoning sexual freedom by launching community programs that encourage teenagers to engage in sex, while at the same time relaxing its criminal penalties for those who knowingly use sex in a way that could literally kill an innocent victim.

And instead of respecting individual agency, and assigning individuals responsibility for the consequences of their actions, California officials seem just as intent on blaming “systemic racism” for the tide of sexually transmitted diseases that are engulfing the Golden State.

The Times article concludes with a quote from Dr. Michael Hochman, senior health deputy for County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

“If you keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, then that’s insanity,” Hochman told the Times.

True enough. And California’s attitude toward sexual freedom and the problems that come with it is a perfect example. This is the kind of state that passes laws that place sexual freedom over the religious liberties guaranteed by the United Stateds Consitution.

And even by California standards, it’s crazy.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.