Bugchasing is a slang term for the practice of pursuing sex with HIV infected individuals in order to contract HIV. ‘Giftgivers’ are HIV positive individuals who comply with the bugchaser’s efforts to become infected with HIV.

Bugchasers indicate various reasons for this activity. Some bugchasers engage in the activity for the excitement inherent in pursuing such a dangerous activity, but do not implicitly desire to contract HIV. Some consider bugchasing ‘intensely erotic’ and the act of being infected as the ‘ultimate taboo, the most extreme sex act left.’

A number of men who are HIV negative and in a relationship with someone who is HIV positive seek infection as a way to remain in the relationship, particularly when the HIV positive partner may wish to break up to avoid infecting the HIV negative partner.

A number of people seek infection because they would qualify to receive Section 8, Social Security and other benefits from getting infected with HIV. Others have suggested that some men who feel lonely desire the nurturing community that supports persons with AIDS.

Bug parties (or ‘conversion parties’) are gatherings at which giftgivers and bugchasers meet to have sex. At some, there is one member of the group who is HIV positive. Only this individual and the host know his positive status. The remaining participants know that there is an infected person in the room, but do not know his or identity. In other variations of a bug party, there is one person who is not infected with HIV, however the other participants are or may be. Every one is aware of the person who is disease free. The HIV negative person then allows the infected party goers to have unprotected sex with him or her.

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