Chapter

Substance, Kinship, and the Meaning of Unprotected Sex among Gay Men in Australia

Sean Slavin and Jeanne Ellard

in AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034317
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039312 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034317.003.0012
Substance, Kinship, and the Meaning of Unprotected Sex among Gay Men in Australia

Show Summary Details

Preview

That some gay men continue to have unprotected anal sex in the context of the HIV epidemic represents on ongoing challenge for HIV prevention efforts. In recent years, explanations have been more keenly sought than ever. In Australia, North America, and Europe, various studies have monitored increases in both unprotected sex and HIV incidence among gay men. One way this issue has developed in public discussion has been through the phenomenon of “barebacking,” a practice that is invariably invoked as risky. This chapter looks at why some gay men continue to have unprotected anal sex, even though they are fully aware of the consequences and risk of HIV infection. Using data from interviews with gay men in three Australian cities, it examines cultural meanings of condomless anal sex in relation to dominant ideals of romantic love and unity, using David Schneider's analysis of Western kinship and his concept of “substance,” family, and love to understand the nature of HIV risk among gay men. Gay male couples often see condoms as an impediment to personal intimacy.

Keywords: HIV infection; gay men; Australia; anal sex; unprotected sex; intimacy; family; barebacking; love; unity

Chapter.  7588 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.