In an eyebrow-raising feature story titled “The Men Who Want AIDS—And How It Improved Their Lives,” gay publication Out profiled a disconcerting group of men who sought not only to contract HIV but also to develop AIDS. The reason? They were homeless and so desperate that they believed AIDS was their best chance of survival—because then, through government assistance, they could access housing, food and health care. The prevalence (and mere existence) of “bug chasing,” as some call it, remains a contentious subject among the HIV community. But as GMHC board member Demetre Daskalakis, MD, writes in a related Out op-ed: “This story is about the exception and not the rule…. It highlights how we as a modern society need to eradicate the real plagues of stigma, homelessness and poverty that continue to fuel new HIV infections.”
Do Some Men Want to Get AIDS?
Yes. Out magazine and GMHC explain why.