Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Bug Chasers

According to the latest Rolling Stone Magazine, which hit my mailbox this morning, many Homosexual men actually seek out HIV infection. Amazingly, these men believe that the infection that is linked to Acquired Immune Deficiency Disease, or AIDS, and which used to be called GRID, or Gay Related Immune Disorder, is more of a secret club or a red badge of courage than a medical scourge. It is one thing for some to be accused of being HIV positive and seeking "bareback" sex, as a famous blogger has been accused of doing, but it must be taken in a different light when one realizes that the "recipient," or "bottom" is a more than willing partner. There is, as reported in Rolling Stone,
an intricate underground world that has sprouted, driven almost completely by the internet, in which men who want to be infected with HIV get together with those who are willing to infect them. The men who want the virus are called "bug chasers," and the men who freely give the virus to them are called "gift givers." While the rest of the world fights the AIDS epidemic and most people fear HIV infection, this subculture celebrates the virus and eroticizes it. HIV infected semen is treated like liquid gold.... The virus isn't horrible and fearsome, it is beautiful and sexy.... In this world, the men with HIV are the most desired, and the bug chasers will do anything to get the virus - to "get knocked up," to be "bred" or "initiated into the brotherhood."
Pretty amazing stuff. Aside from their assertion that the internet is a necessary part of this abberation (I guess that the editors at Rolling Stone never heard of the personal ads) the rest of the article seems to be well researched. I know that the gays have become a protected victim class and can't be criticized, but this is over the top. The cost to society is tremendous. This is not just some behavior between consenting adults. I wonder what Andy will have to say about this one?