One question that needs more attention is why are gay men and lesbians excluded from participating in certain medical studies?
A little over a year ago a letter written by three scientists from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine. The letter cited several dozen clinical trials that required that a participant be “in a reciprocal relationship with a person of the opposite sex.”
In certain situations there are legitimate scientific reasons for excluding gays from certain studies, such as how the AIDS virus spreads during heterosexual sex. There is no reason they should be excluded from other studies, such as ones testing drugs for attention-deficit disorder or sexual difficulties after prostate cancer surgery.
It is time for our homophobic reactions to end. We all should know better, especially our medical researchers.
Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.
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