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Sociol Health Illn. 2018 Jul 27. doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.12765. [Epub ahead of print]

'It's just an excuse to slut around': Gay and Bisexual Mens' Constructions of HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as a Social Problem.

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Department of Sociology, City University of New York Graduate School and University Center, Sociology, New York, USA.
Community Health and Social Sciences, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York, USA.


Since the 2012 FDA approval of HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as a method to prevent HIV, its uptake among gay and bisexual men has been met with conflict. Drawing on discussions of PrEP from focus groups with gay and bisexual men in New York City (N = 5 groups, n = 32 participants), we sought to make meaning of the moral debate surrounding the implementation of biomedical HIV prevention medications. Grounded in the constructionist perspective on social problems, this case study focuses on the competing claims making activities gay and bisexual men engage in when framing PrEP and PrEP users. As HIV prevention is a communicative endeavour, analysing the micro level social problems work on PrEP provides key insight into the subcultural norms and values that shape sexual health practices and beliefs within gay and bisexual communities.


HIV; drugs/medication; sexual health; sexuality; social constructionism; stigma


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