Sex pigs: a rough guide to dirty sex – a new approach to prevention

Published: August 1, 2008

Sex pigs: a rough guide to dirty sex – a new approach to prevention

Issues: Australian research has identified gay men who practise adventurous sex as a priority group for HIV/STI prevention. Sexually confident HIV positive gay men are highly represented in this subculture. Specifically, the challenge was to develop a prevention campaign that adapted to participant’s sexual limits and included the way new understandings of risk, safety and health are incorporated in HIV positive gay men’s sexual lives.

Description: Drawing on a review of SEX PIGS: DARK AND DIRTY SEX AND MANAGING YOUR HEALTH produced by Positive Life NSW, this paper will examine campaign development and implementation, and incorporate the ways sexually adventurous gay men ‘care for self’ and their partners.
By producing a more sophisticated understanding on prevention, adventurous sex is positioned as a productive concept. It highlights values and models of behaviour, and harm minimisation applied to condom and drug use. While condom use with casual partners of unknown HIV status is a key message, the campaign also acknowledges gay men continue to redefine the limits of risk and safety. Because HIV negative and HIV positive gay men share the same social and sexual spaces, campaign messages were designed to speak to both.

Lessons learned: HIV/STI prevention is not only a behavioural intervention, but is also a cultural practice, which engages and reproduces community ethics and values. This work creates opportunities for sexually adventurous gay men to speak through their culture and helps to define the sexual and subjective spaces they share.

Next steps: Prevention faces challenges in the context of a complex, changing gay male sexual culture. Positive Life NSW will continue to work with HIV positive gay men to develop new prevention strategies, which incorporate new skills and learning, and that support new understandings of sexual practises and limits.

-Abstract available at link below-

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