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No Need to Wrap It: HIV Gift-giver Newsgroups, Gift Theory and Exchanging HIV as a Gift Messages were downloaded from 17, Web-based, Gift- giver / Bug-chaser.

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Presentation on theme: "No Need to Wrap It: HIV Gift-giver Newsgroups, Gift Theory and Exchanging HIV as a Gift Messages were downloaded from 17, Web-based, Gift- giver / Bug-chaser."— Presentation transcript:

1 No Need to Wrap It: HIV Gift-giver Newsgroups, Gift Theory and Exchanging HIV as a Gift Messages were downloaded from 17, Web-based, Gift- giver / Bug-chaser newsgroups Messages were downloaded from 17, Web-based, Gift- giver / Bug-chaser newsgroups Postings dated from Sept to Feb Postings dated from Sept to Feb messages were categorized thematically to form a typology of the Gift 281 messages were categorized thematically to form a typology of the Gift HIV-Gift narratives were then read with reference to sociological and anthropological theories of gift- exchange HIV-Gift narratives were then read with reference to sociological and anthropological theories of gift- exchange

2 Barebacker & Gift-giver Rationales Gift-giver / Bug-chaser rationales echo themes found in the Barebacking literature. Condom-less sex is more natural, real, intimate Condom-less sex is more natural, real, intimate Risk-takers are essentially masculine, hyper-masculine Risk-takers are essentially masculine, hyper-masculine Individual choice Individual choice Acts of rebellion, resistance Acts of rebellion, resistance Safer-sex exhaustion; inevitability of HIV infection Safer-sex exhaustion; inevitability of HIV infection Treatment breakthroughs Treatment breakthroughs Eroticize illness, AIDS, STDs, decay Eroticize illness, AIDS, STDs, decay Fetishisation of Ejaculate Fetishisation of Ejaculate Gendered sex roles, e.g., penetration = feminization Gendered sex roles, e.g., penetration = feminization

3 The Typology of the Gift The Gift of… the Gift the Gift the Bug the Bug Disease, AIDS Disease, AIDS Poz, Pozzing Poz, Pozzing Voltage, Charging Voltage, Charging Toxin, Poison, Death Toxin, Poison, Death The Gift facilitates… Conversion, New Life Conversion, New Life Becoming a Giver Becoming a Giver Joining Poz Brotherhood Joining Poz Brotherhood Pregnancy, Breeding Pregnancy, Breeding Denigrating the Unawares, the ‘Clean’ Denigrating the Unawares, the ‘Clean’

4 Exchanging HIV as a Gift Gift-giver gives ‘Gift’ Gift-giver gives ‘Gift’ Gift-givers are described as powerful, valued, masculine Tops Gift-givers are described as powerful, valued, masculine Tops Bug-chaser receives ‘Gift’ Bug-chaser receives ‘Gift’ Bug-chasers are described as weak, worthless, feminized Bottoms Bug-chasers are described as weak, worthless, feminized Bottoms Gift of HIV is always given by Tops to Bottoms. Gift of HIV is always given by Tops to Bottoms. ‘Real Sex’ is natural, extreme, dirty, risky ‘Real Sex’ is natural, extreme, dirty, risky HIV negative = Clean HIV negative = Clean HIV positive = Dirty HIV positive = Dirty HIV+ ejaculate is Gifted, Buggy, Charged, Dirty, Poisoned, Toxic, Hot HIV+ ejaculate is Gifted, Buggy, Charged, Dirty, Poisoned, Toxic, Hot Exchange is akin to reproduction. Chasers are impregnated, knocked-up, seeded, etc. Exchange is akin to reproduction. Chasers are impregnated, knocked-up, seeded, etc.

5 Key Findings No Barebacking or Gift-giver newsgroups were found that dated prior to , most dated from 2000 No Barebacking or Gift-giver newsgroups were found that dated prior to , most dated from 2000 Newsgroups function as self-reinforcing forums Newsgroups function as self-reinforcing forums Conceived of as a Gift, the meaning of HIV can be manipulated to fulfill particular goals Conceived of as a Gift, the meaning of HIV can be manipulated to fulfill particular goals Becoming HIV+ is considered inevitable, desirable Becoming HIV+ is considered inevitable, desirable As with any gift, the Gift of HIV is transformative As with any gift, the Gift of HIV is transformative Exchanging HIV provides a sense of control Exchanging HIV provides a sense of control Extreme sex provides a sense of sexual transgression that safe-sex precludes Extreme sex provides a sense of sexual transgression that safe-sex precludes


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