Zachary Quinto: There is a 'tremendous' complacency towards HIV awareness in LGBT community

Star Trek actor has subsequently attempted to further explain his remarks after heavy criticism

Rose Troup Buchanan
Saturday 15 November 2014 18:28
Actor Zachary Quinto has angered some of the LGBT community with his remarks on HIV awareness
Actor Zachary Quinto has angered some of the LGBT community with his remarks on HIV awareness

Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto has defended remarks he made criticising the LGBT community for its “laziness” and “tremendous complacency” towards HIV awareness in an interview earlier this week.

“I think there’s a tremendous sense of complacency in the LGBT community,” Mr Quinto is quoted as saying in the interview for OUT100 magazine.

He continues: "Aids has lost the edge of horror it possessed when it swept through the world in the '80s. Today’s generation sees it more as something to live with and something to be much less fearful of. And that comes with a sense of, dare I say, laziness."

Globally, around 35.3 million people live with HIV according to the World Health Organisation, which also estimates that around 0.8 per cent of adults aged 15-49 worldwide live with the disease – although the proportion is not equally spread, for example Sub-Saharan Afrca remains severely affected.

In 2012 WHO estimates that 1.6 million people lost their lives to Aids-related illnesses.

Mr Quinto, who first found fame playing on TV series Heroes, was heavily criticised for the remarks.

Twitter user Josh Robbins commented: "HIV activism is alive! Wake up!!! We're not 'lazy.'"

In response to the backlash the actor responded in a Huffington Post article yesterday, writing that his views were “never meant to be incendiary or judgemental.”

Claiming he was a "staunch advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBT community," who did not wish to make generalisations , Mr Quinto continued to defend his remarks.

"I have had numerous conversations in my travels with young gay people who see the threat of HIV as diminished to the point of near irrelevance. I have heard too many stories of young people taking PrEP as an insurance policy against their tendency toward unprotected non-monogamous sex. THAT is my only outrage," he wrote in the piece.

Mr Quinto ends by saying that if his remarks are still "misconstrued", then at least he is playing a part in provoking a "more meaningful, informative and passionate conversation – particularly among the younger generation".

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