Bug Chaser…

Posted: June 29, 2010 by Jesse in AIDS, HIV
Tags: , , , , ,

I was having a chat with a guy online recently whose only interest was having sex with me, and whilst I would like to say it was because he found me totally irresistible, his reasons were unfortunately based on my HIV positive status.

This person indicated that he had never actually had sex, and he desires to be infected with HIV upon losing his virginity.  Needless to say I was totally shocked.  I would like to point out that at no point did I give him reason to believe that I would fulfill his request. I chatted to him for about an hour, trying to understand why he, or anyone for that matter, would not only want to become infected with HIV, but actively seek it…

The slang term for someone that actively seeks HIV is a bug chaser.   Breakdown: they are a group of people that actively seek unsafe sex with HIV positive partners with the intention of contracting HIV.  On the flip side, you have the Gift Givers.  A Gift Giver is a HIV positive person who will comply with the Bug Chaser’s attempts to contract this disease, or even seek unsafe sex with people that are HIV negative without disclosing their status,and may even deny their status if asked.  This is the reason I stress that protection should always be used with casual sex partners, and to get regular sexual health tests done.  These tests can often be done for free through your local sexual health centre.  They say hindsight is 20/20 don’t they!

I find it incredibly frightening that there seems to be so many people out there without accurate information on this disease.  People that actively seek it, and more frighteningly, people that are willing to infect others.  Lets get real people!  HIV is a serious illness, yet so many people make the assumption that because there is antiretroviral treatments available that we need not take HIV and AIDS seriously anymore.

I think that people actively seeking the disease are not looking at the long-term implications.  Here are just a few:

  • This is a disease for life – there is no cure, there is no second chance;
  • There is a higher risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections and diseases due to the weakened immune system;
  • There will be regular medical appointments to monitor and track the progression of the disease and determine when antiretroviral treatment should commence;
  • Once treatment begins – you will require treatment for the rest of your life;
  • If you want to travel, you will be unable to enter some countries that have a ban on HIV positive people obtaining visas and there are other countries that have a restricted access to persons with HIV. Whilst many HIV positive people do not declare that they are HIV positive upon entering these countries, there can be serious consequences for lying on declaration forms if their status is discovered and it can be proven that the person was previously aware of their status.

I am all for people having the freedom to make their own choices, but my concern is that these ‘bug chasers’ with their lack of sensitivity to this disease will then infect others.

I hope that these bug chasers and gift givers will one day realise the reality of this disease and re-assess their positions on actively seeking HIV or infecting innocent others.

  1. clearbluewindow says:

    Jesse, I am gobsmacked at what you are saying! If I didn’t know you so well I would not have believed that this kind of thing is happening. I am the first to admit that I am quite ignorant about HIV (but I am learning) – but I cannot comprehend in any way why someone would actively seek the disease. I would be interested in reading more about the psychological/sociological aspect of this sub-culture. Great site, by the way!

  2. Jesse says:

    It would be very interesting, however there doesn’t appear to me too much available on the topic. Or I just suck at researching. I will however flag that for future reference.

  3. auntiehugi says:

    Hi Jesse

    Finally got around to reading your blog, I think this is great, getting people to talk about all the different issues that come up. I know from my work with carers just how important it is that people have someone to talk to about the stresses that come from the burdens of having a disease that other people don’t take the time to understand. I’m really proud of you.

    Keeping people aware of bug chasers is really important to try and stop the spread. People who knowingly have unprotected sex when they are infected are murderers in my eyes.

  4. Jesse says:

    Hi Hugi!

    Hope In Vastitude is really starting to take off. With the support of friends and loved ones I can see this blog becoming a huge success! I am so honoured. People that work in your field have such immense strength and compassion.

    The bug chasing post was just there for me to vent. However it seems to have attracted quite a bit of attention. I will need to work on developing other aspects of the site – but will endeavour to do more research on this topic in the coming weeks.

    Thank you for following me.

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