Byline: Dr. Robert J. Labutta , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Obama administration's move to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military - along with the House's confirming vote and the Senate's pending one scheduled for this week - has completely ignored the known health and medical implications of homosexuality.
Medical readiness - the overall health of the military - is so fundamentally important to military effectiveness that each branch of the military has well-established standards of medical fitness. Numerous common medical and behavioral conditions exclude individuals from serving in the military. Even a history of medical or behavioral conditions is enough to exclude someone from service. Why? Simply stated, the risks to the individual and to the health of the entire force are too large and unacceptable. For example, a history of diabetes, any history of asthma after the age of 13, and eating disorders lasting more than three months and occurring after the age of 13 are all disqualifying, according to Army regulations. The military does not discriminate against people with asthma but rather discerns unacceptable risks to the person and to the military.
More than two decades of solid medical information define the health risks of homosexual behavior. In fact, the information has been validated and is more accurate than ever. The overall incidence of new HIV infections is relatively constant at 56,000 new infections per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men who have sex with men (MSM) of all races are the only group in the United States with rising numbers of new HIV infections. Additionally, the CDC says, MSM (53 percent) and persons exposed through high-risk (contact with a person known to have, or be at high risk for, HIV infection) heterosexual contact (32 percent) accounted for 85 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in the 34 (reporting) states in 2007. According to the CDC, gay men make up approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 53 percent of new infections. This is an HIV diagnosis rate of 44 times that of other men. The CDC also reported that in 2006, 64 percent of reported syphilis infections were accounted for by the same 2 percent of the population - MSM.
Looking solely at infectious diseases, it is well supported by epidemiological data that those who engage in homosexual behavior are a high-risk population. Sexual attractions are a personal and private …