I am writing in reference to an article by Lloyd B Smith published on August 12. The article discussed a panel held during the International AIDS Society Conference, August 3 – 8 in Mexico City.
I was quite surprised by the reference to “nonsense spewed” by Dr Robert Carr at the conference, since I attended the session to which the editorial refers. In my observation, Dr Carr related the story of the police response to an incident in Half-Way-Tree when gay men were mobbed in quite the opposite way that Mr Smith represents: Dr Carr noted that the police response was extraordinary in its effort to protect the victims at the scene from abuse, and the police’s efforts to apprehend the perpetrators. While Mr Smith contends that Dr Carr is over-critical, I found Carr’s presentation stressed the reverse.
Indeed, in agreement with Mr Smith’s position (“allow Jamaicans to adapt to changing perceptions of people’s lifestyles and the fact that individuals of all kinds can coexist”), Dr Carr’s presentation was one that clearly emphasised success – that is, that there is a growing tolerance in Jamaica from all sectors of society. In other words, Dr Carr’s presentation stressed that strategic, thoughtful and inclusive action to address discrimination can yield results, as, he contends, is the case in Jamaica. It is a shame that Dr Carr’s position has been so thoroughly misconstrued.
Dr Susana T Fried
HIV/AIDS GroupUnited Nations Development Programme
Bureau for Development Policy
See Original Article Below Named “Gay Lobby Scam”