Relocation and Negotiation: Integrating Mobilities in Gay Men’s Sexual Health

Authored by: Nathaniel M. Lewis

The Routledge Research Companion to Geographies of Sex and Sexualities

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472455482
eBook ISBN: 9781315613000
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043331


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During the past three decades, geographers have devoted considerable attention to the spatialities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Much of their work has focused on the global diffusion of the disease, including its origins, spread, and virological character (Smallman-Raynor et al., 1992; Gould, 1993; Wallace et al., 1999; Barnett and Whiteside, 2003). In line with this diffusionist approach, much of the early work on gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) tended to focus on how the behaviours and movements of HIV-positive men might impact on local and regional health service systems (Cohn et al., 1994; Ellis and Muschkin, 1996). During the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in North America, Michael Brown (1995b) critiqued health researchers for ‘medicalizing’ gay men as mere disease vectors rather than human subjects whose health and well-being were constructed actively by the social and political environments they inhabited. Geographers have since offered useful interventions into the shrinking life-worlds of HIV-positive men (Wilton, 1996), the regulation of gay men’s sexual health through clinics and health promotion campaigns (see M. Brown, 2006, 2009; M. Brown and Knopp, 2014) and the advent of local HIV/AIDS activist movements (M. Brown, 1997a; Tucker et al., 2013a).

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