So, i’ve heard of the term Bug Chaser for years and thought it to be to FAR OUT to actually have any truth to it. I’ve often made humorless jokes using it as a punch line. Those who know me personally know my crass humor. Maybe naive, but I really thought it was ok to joke because there couldn’t possibly be individuals out there that go out of their way to intentionally become HIV positive. Organized parties where the gift bag was HIV infection. How do you talk about such a subject without any judgment? My first reaction is anger. I want to grab a ” Bugchaser” and scream, asking whether they would like me to put a gun to their head, because it would be less painful than going through the mental and physical pain one who is HIV goes through.
Secondly , they must have never lost anyone from complications to HIV. Or are they that out of their mind? That mentally unstable? That desperate for attention? Suicidal? During a conversation with friends the other night, the topic of Bug Chasers came up ( of course ,from me and my love of talking about taboo , awkward topics) . Half of the room laughed it off like ,” yeah right” they said. And the other half had different definitions of what it meant to be a bug Chaser. So, I did a little research.
But I have to say, having no judgement on this topic, I cannot. I’ll work on being judemental when it come to bad haircuts, outfits and such. Don’t be afraid to talk about things taboo! Here is what I dicovered :
Bugchasers seek sexual partners who are HIV positive for the purpose of having unprotected sex and becoming HIV positive; giftgivers are HIV positive individuals who comply with the bugchaser’s efforts to become infected with HIV.
Writer Daniel Hill outlined a scenario where such behavior might occur:
|“||In private sex clubs across the U.S. men gather for a chance to participate in what is called Russian Roulette. Ten men are invited, nine are HIV−, one is HIV+. The men have agreed to not speak of AIDS, nor HIV. They participate in as many unsafe sexual encounters with each other as possible, thus increasing their chances to receive “the bug.” These are the men known as ‘Bug Chasers
What are bug parties?
Bug parties are sex parties often ranging from a few to as much as 30 people. Unsafe sex with every participant at the party is encouraged. There are several variations of bug parties. At some, there is one member of the “orgy” that is HIV positive. Only this individual and the host know his positive status. The remaining participants know that there is an infected person in the room, but do not know his identity. The participants then partake in a night usually filled with alcohol, drugs and of course unsafe sex.
In other variations of a bug party, there is one person who is not infected with HIV, however the other participants are or may be. Every one is aware of the person who disease free. The HIV negative person then allows the infected guys to have unprotected anal sex with him.
Why do people participate in bug parties?
Many psychologists theorize that participation in bug parties is actually an anxiety disorder where the non-infected individuals fear getting HIV so greatly that they would rather contract it and free themselves of the anxiety of living in fear. These parties are also seen as a sort of club for those living with HIV. Infecting a HIV negative and willing participant initiates them into their world. Some people also engage in unprotected anal sex (or barebacking) as the fear for AIDS dangerously dwindles.
“The Gift” from filmmaker Louise Hogarth is a documentary about gay men who purposely contract HIV. According to Rolling Stone, one character in the film admits “I was relieved. I didn’t have to worry. Do I need to be careful — not any more.” Yet another willing 21-year-old regrets his choice. “I’ve made a terrible mistake and there’s no fixing that. There is no benefit in this and that’s what needs to be said.”