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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bugchasing". (Source - Retrieved 2006-10-03 10:03:17 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugchasing)
Bugchasing (or Bug chasing) is a term, invented in the $1990s$, stemming out of a subculture of gay men wanting (Chasing) to become infected with HIV. Bug chasers "chase" the bug by seeking sexual partners who are HIV positive for the purpose of having unprotected sex and having the partner change their seroconversion status.
Though the practice of bug chasing seems incredibly risky and, in a worst case scenario, tantamount to suicide, interviews with "chasers" have identified recurring motivations for participating in the activity. Among these motivations:
Bugchasing has largely been viewed with disdain from the gay community as a self-destructive activity. Leaders of the gay community at large are concerned that the behaviors of bugchasers may contribute to a public perception that the practice is common or encouraged by all gay people.
Although "bug chasing" has been occurring for several years, the phenomenon gained press coverage - and notoriety - after Rolling Stone magazine printed an article in 2003 by a freelance journalist, Gregory Freeman, entitled "Bug Chasers: The men who long to be HIV+". The article provoked a storm of controversy, primarily because based on the statistics in the article, it suggested that the practice might be relatively common. The reliability of that article has been questioned, as it cited only two sources. One, who claimed that as many as 25% of HIV+ men had contracted it on purpose, gave his information anonymously. The other source was a doctor who, when confronted, denied the quotes attributed to him in the article.
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.'" 
Writer/director Daniel Bort made a 2003 short film called Bugchaser, which premièred at the 16th Annual Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, on the subject, shot mainly in New York sex clubs. In an interview with the Austin Chronicle, he explained: "The matter-of-fact declarations of a string of articulate, apparently nonsensical people … affected me tremendously. I had to find out the reasons why such individuals will seek suicide in this almost symbolic way." At the Austin G&L Film Festival, the film was shown with an accompanying documentary The Gift by Louise Hogarth.
The issue is, more recently, being taken seriously by medical health promotion bodies, such as the Centers for Disease Control, which hosted a workshop by Dr Michael Graydon of Carleton University, Ottawa, on the topic at the 2004 National STD Prevention Conference.
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