Call for papers: New landscapes of HIV/AIDS in times of PrEP
at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Cardiff, 29-31 August 2018
Session sponsored by the Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group (GHWRG)
Convenors: Gavin Brown & Cesare Di Feliciantonio (University of Leicester)
Following the introduction and expanding availability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), alongside improved uses of ‘treatment as prevention’ for those already infected with HIV, new infection-rates for HIV have started to decline, especially in those cities and among those populations where campaigning and public investments have been strongest. As argued by Auerbach and Hoppe (2015: 1), “getting PrEP to ‘work’ is more complicated than simply ‘getting drugs into bodies’”. Rather, PrEP embodies a range of interacting physiological, psychological and social realities that together affect (...) relationship dynamics, sexual cultures and social arrangements that have influence beyond HIV”. In fact the use of PrEP (as well as the adherence to antiretroviral therapies, ARTs, for HIV-positive people) reshapes the meanings associated with categories such as ‘safe’, ‘bareback’ and ‘raw’ sex, offering new possibilities for empowerment as well as new forms of biopower (Dean, 2015; Preciado, 2015). Given the persistent inequalities in the access and availability of PrEP, we think there is the need for a serious engagement by geographers and social scientists in producing knowledge about the emerging social and spatial dimensions of HIV prevention and treatment, including the ways in which new socio-technical assemblages of treatment and prevention have reconfigured the social, cultural, and sexual lives of people with (and at risk of infection from) HIV.
We invite contributions around (but not limited to) the following topics/questions:
• the uneven geographies of PrEP accessibility and availability;
• the political economy of PrEP;
• the socio-technical materialities of PrEP;
• PrEP, race, gender and class;
• how PrEP impacts upon HIV-related acceptance and stigma;
• the (uneven) social and spatial dimensions of the persistence of “Truvada whores” stigma (Calabrese and Underhill, 2015);
• PrEP as community-based activism;
• PrEP as an expression of biopower;
• comparative perspectives on campaigns, policies and strategies to implement PrEP access;
• intersections between PrEP-related activism and HIV+-related activism;
• the sexual citizenship of undetectability;
• the geographical implications of ‘undetectability’;
For enquiries and abstract submission (max 250 words), please email Gavin Brown ([log in to unmask]) and Cesare Di Feliciantonio ([log in to unmask]) by 9 February 2018.
Auerbach, J. D. and Hoppe, T. A. 2015. Beyond “getting drugs into bodies”: social science perspectives on pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV. Journal of the International AIDS Society 18(suppl. 3), http://dx.doi.org/10.7448/IAS.18.4.19983 [last visit: December 11th 2017]
Calabrese, S. K. and Underhill, K. 2015. How Stigma Surrounding the Use of HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis Undermines Prevention and Pleasure: A Call to Destigmatize “Truvada Whores”. American Journal of Public Health 105(10): 1960-4.
Dean, T. 2015. Mediated intimacies: raw sex, Truvada, and the biopolitics of chemoprophylaxis. Sexualities 18(1/2): 224-46.
Preciado, P. 2015. Condoms chimiques. Libération 11/06, http://www.liberation.fr/chroniques/2015/06/11/condoms-chimiques_1327747 [last visit: December 11th 2017]