This article presents a framework through which changes in the management of HIV/AIDS risks among British gay men may be conceptualized. Three distinct periods of risk management are outlined. First, a ‘confused’ period in which the aetiology of AIDS and its cultural impact were poorly understood. Second, a ‘somatic’ period is described in which discourses linking HIV risk to the body became prevalent (following the ‘discovery’ of the HIV virus). Finally a third, ‘technological’ period is described which stresses the impact of recent social and medical technologies in the contemporary management of both HIV and AIDS risks. The privatization, fluidity and development of HIV and AIDS ‘risks’ are discussed with particular reference to notions of surveillance medicine, processes of ‘othering’ and the attribution of both responsibility and blame.
- health technologies
- gay men