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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 Postings dated from Sept to Feb. 2003 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

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 Risk-takers are essentially masculine, hyper-masculine Individual choice Acts of rebellion, resistance Safer-sex exhaustion; inevitability of HIV infection Treatment breakthroughs Eroticize illness, AIDS, STDs, decay Fetishisation of Ejaculate Gendered sex roles, e.g., penetration = feminization

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

4 Exchanging HIV as a Gift
Gift-giver gives ‘Gift’ Gift-givers are described as powerful, valued, masculine Tops Bug-chaser receives ‘Gift’ Bug-chasers are described as weak, worthless, feminized Bottoms Gift of HIV is always given by Tops to Bottoms. ‘Real Sex’ is natural, extreme, dirty, risky HIV negative = Clean HIV positive = Dirty HIV+ ejaculate is Gifted, Buggy, Charged, Dirty, Poisoned, Toxic, Hot 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 Newsgroups function as self-reinforcing forums Conceived of as a Gift, the meaning of HIV can be manipulated to fulfill particular goals Becoming HIV+ is considered inevitable, desirable As with any gift, the Gift of HIV is transformative Exchanging HIV provides a sense of control Extreme sex provides a sense of sexual transgression that safe-sex precludes


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