An excerpt from the story:
Marshall, who represents Prince William County, sent us an email citing a study published in June 1997 in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The report, conducted by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, examined how HIV affected the mortality of gay and bisexual men in Vancouver from 1987 to 1992.
The study found that life expectancy at age 20 among gay and bisexual men in Vancouver was 8 to 21 years shorter than that of all men in the Canadian city. The researchers also said their conclusion probably underestimated the life expectancy deficit among gay and bisexual men because AIDS cases were underreported.
But that’s not the end of the story.
The report’s authors, in 2001, took exception to conservatives who used their study to condemn the lifestyle of gay and bisexual men. The researchers said circumstances had changed since their study ended in the early 1990s.
"If we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved," the authors wrote. "Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996."
The researchers, however, did not conduct a new study on the life expectancy for gay and bisexual men.
We spoke to Julio Montaner, a co-author of the study and director of the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDs. He said Marshall’s statement is a "gross misrepresentation" of the research.
"To use my report to support the notion that gay and bisexual sex is somehow the reason why people die early is misusing the data," Montaner said.