There is a long pathway between demonstrating efficacy in clinical trials of new anti-HIV technologies and proving effectiveness in “real world” settings. That pathway is paved with combinations of technological, behavioral, social, political, and economic factors that ultimately play out in the actions of individuals to take up (or resist taking up) HIV prevention and treatment methods and incorporate them into their daily lives. To a great extent, whether and how this occurs is a reflection of public engagement in HIV/AIDS science—from basic perceptions and attitudes about biomedical research; meanings people give to products, technologies, their bodies, and their relationships; participation in and knowledge of the outcomes of research; and communication about scientific processes and outcomes.
This session will examine how public engagement in science has evolved in the realm of HIV, including issues of inclusion, exclusion, exploitation and benefit, and what constitutes sound scientific research and actionable evidence.
Co-chairs: Judith Auerbach, Veronica Noseda
Speakers: Patricia Kingori, Pedro Goicochea, Kathleen MacQueen, Kane Race
Here is my poster on PNP practices for AIDS 2014. Fabulous design by Leading Hand design. You can find a full copy of the draft paper, forthcoming in Sexualities, here.
I’ve been thinking a lot in this project about the possibilities but also frustrations afforded by online cruising sites/ apps and how they are figuring in the ways gay men are presently organising their sexual and emotional lives. They can function as a great and effective way of hooking up with people (often not as effective as people would like!) but there is an abiding anger, sense of resentment and frustration about what they make us do, and what they don’t do, and how people behave when using this medium. All this even while many people understand the desire for casual or no-strings sex, and use these sites happily for these purposes themselves … often in the ways they complain about in relation to the conduct of prospective partners!
I managed to dig up this old interview from an event back in 2010 hosted by SIDACTION in Paris where David Halperin, Barry Adam and a much earlier version of myself were interviewed in connection with a conference on homosexuality, social science and HIV. Barry’s comments at the end of the interview have stuck with me ever since and I have been thinking about them more and more. He raises the problem of how participants try to negotiate needs for connection and intimacy so evocatively:
“We often live in gay worlds which are quite efficient sex delivery systems but men then have to focus a great many of their emotional needs into this one avenue and that itself creates new risk situations which are again often inadvertent but that we are called upon to manage one way or another”
I love this way of formulating the problem: how to negotiate satisfying intimate lives in the context of hyper-efficient sex delivery systems? It’s an ongoing and active question …
Here’s what I’m thinking: in the form of an abstract submitted to an upcoming drugs conference. Comments and ideas v welcome!
This paper traces the complex and shifting materialization of gay lives in the context of transformations in drug practices, drug policing and modes of sexual sociability over the past decade in Sydney, Australia. I argue that the government of drug practices is bound up in complex ways with the materialization of sexualities, forms of community and identification, and modes of political consciousness and activism. I connect two processes that have had a marked effect on sexual sociability among men who have sex with men and queer communities in urban contexts: (1) the intensification of drug policing which is increasingly experienced as – and has been used as a pretext to conduct – a systematic assault on gay communal spaces and the ethos of dance culture, and (2) the emergence of online sex sites, which has made possible new, more secluded, and arguably more risky forms of at-home partying and drug consumption (‘PNP culture’). Drawing on insights from science studies, I approach these developments as new sexual infrastructures, or infrastructures of intimacy, that can be seen to mediate sociosexual encounters in specific ways. Where institutions allocate resources and establish hierarchies of authority, infrastructures facilitate and shape encounters in ways that become more or less durable even as their constructed and/or enacted nature is grasped. What this analysis brings to science studies is an illustration of the implication of sociotechnical infrastructures and regulatory practices in the production of affective atmospheres – their ontological manifestation, effects and transformation. In conclusion, I consider the significance of affective climates for harm reduction and what I have termed ‘counterpublic health’. I argue that the concept of ‘affective climates’ provides a more nuanced perspective on the ways in which stigma may be understood to interfere with collective elaborations of care.
Filed under Affect, Devices and technology, Drug dogs, Engagement with medicine, Medicine and science, Online meeting sites, Parties, PNP culture, Police, Self-medication, Sexual practice, Theory