They call themselves “bug chasers” and there is a community of men who collect STD’s and “gift” them to other people, but they mainly chase the big one. AIDS. Now I’m assuming the first question that comes to your mind is why? We view AIDS as a horrible disease that we hope to cure one day but there is a community all over the world, and in Melbourne as well, of men who are willing to receive AIDS and then want to infect other willing men with the disease. Obviously when I first heard of this I had to know more, so I researched as much as I could but it wasn’t enough. I had to enter their world, I had to interview them and find out their reasons for wanting to do this.The purpose of this article is not to condemn bug chasing or praise it, it’s simply just a documentation of how i briefly stepped into their world and what I learned.
I started my research by trying to find websites that explained a close look at what bug chasing is all about but only found biased articles on how it’s a “disgusting act” which didn’t really answer many of my questions. My questions were personal, not only just why would they do this, but more along the lines of who are they as people. Are they just like everyday people or are they some creepy 40 year old living in their mums basement? Is infecting someone with a life destroying disease an emotional thing or just purely sexual? Do their lives even get destroyed or are they actually happier when they have AIDS, and again, why?
After searching through many, many different websites, I stumbled upon one certain website that was an HQ to the most extreme bug chasers for them to meet up with each other and fulfil their deepest sexual fantasies. Now before I continue, I’ll quickly break down their slang terms from what I learnt when speaking with some of them.
– Getting “charged” means to contract AIDS
– Being a “neg” means you are negative for AIDS but are looking to be infected
– Being a “poz” means you are positive for AIDS and are looking to infect others
– “Pozzers” rate their status on how toxic their cum is so “negz” have a much better chance of contracting AIDS
– Giving someone AIDS means you’re a “Pozdaddy” and once you’re infected you are “forever pregnant” with that pozers seed
I decided to make an account on the website and made a profile called CuriousDean. At first I thought “what the fuck am I doing?”. Everywhere I looked it was just posts offering to “poz up some little cumwhores fuck hole with my toxic cum 100% conversion guaranteed” and “looking for a group of pozers to gang rape me and give me the gift”. I had jumped into the deep end in their community and felt like I was the outsider and they were the normal ones, and I was.
Once I got used to the profile pictures of spread butt holes and ejaculating penises, the initial shock wore off and I started contacting members to see if any of them would like to talk to me about their experiences and let me write about it. Surprisingly the men that contacted me were very polite and understanding. The first message I received was “Hi Dean how are you? So good to see you taking steps into chasing world: it is a very beautiful and caring thing indeed – hope this site will help you, please ask me any questions xx “. I was off to a good start. Now I spoke to a few men but under the circumstances that I would not disclose any personal information, not even their usernames.
I asked them about their first time and learnt quite a few haven’t successfully contracted the AIDS virus and were having difficulty. I asked them why they would want to contract something so horrible and life destroying and the answers were varied. One mans reply was “I have other life limiting conditions and I guess knowing they are going to kill me someday anyway has taken any fear away of living with HIV or AIDS. I guess its like the same for those smokers who need additional oxygen to help them breath, but take it off to have a cigarette. Also in the 1st world countries if you take the right medication you can still live a relatively normal life-span”.
Another replied saying:
“Once I get HIV I’ll go on meds for awhile just to enjoy some more life then I’ll stop them once I have found peace”
One chaser’s response seemed to be more purely sexual, “Well I guess I’ve known for a long time I wanted the virus. But it wasn’t until I was bare backed by a guy that swore he had a condom on. At first I was disgusted but then I was turned on and searched for even more I wanted to take poz loads just so I no longer have the feeling of what will I do if I get it”.
One neg chaser said he viewed chasing as “the unknown factor. Sort of like Russian roulette who knows when your gonna get the bullet you play enough it will be your turn eventually”. I asked them if thier family was aware of thier chasing or if they had developed friendships with other chasers. “To be quite honest, I don’t know anyone in my circle of friends that are chasers. I keep my chasing habits to myself as I know it would worry my family”.
I asked one man if chasing had ever led to something more than just sex, something romantic or even love. “I’ve tried but they just bail on me when I try to be romantic so I don’t let myself fall in love” and he didn’t wish to comment any further.
I asked them if they considered themselves to have a normal typical life outside of chasing. “I feel I live a normal life, I work in the medical field. Its a bit unfortunate that people link gay people with the deviants who do things like pedophillia. We are all regular well adjusted guys who come together for a common interest. We know the risks and we accept the risk. I’d be surprised if there was a chaser who when he got converted said “oh I didn’t know it would be like this”.
His reply really stood out to me. When I first logged on to the website, I felt disgusted. Disgusted because I didn’t understand chasing, I was expecting men to spam me with emails of wanting to give me AIDS, but what I got were normal people. Some were lawyers, some were tradies but they were all willing to give me their time and have a conversation with me.
One man’s reply to me when I offered to meet up for coffee for a more one on one interview really got me thinking. His reply was “why would you need normal people to look into this phenomenon? what is the purpose: and what if normal people dislike us even further? So sorry, I don’t feel comfortable at all with your project because it will inevitably increase hate against us gay people even further and that doesn’t help anyone, sorry”.
He had a point, after reading this article are you summarising your thoughts on these people as chasers or homosexuals? The last thing I would want to do is bring hateful views to homosexuals or anyone for that matter. The purpose of this article is to look into their world with an unbiased view. What I learnt was that chasers are just normal people. Chasing AIDS is consensual on both sides of chasing. In the end, what these men do behind closed doors is non of our business, just like any straight person. We will always have a curiosity to peep in but in the end it’s their decision and it in no way affects anyone’s lives except those who are consensually willing to participate.