Many of us already know that a bug chaser is someone who is HIV-negative and wants to become HIV-positive through the act of bug chasing and a gift giver is someone who is HIV-positive and wants to share the virus with others through the act of gift giving. I started writing a glossary of terms, but I haven’t published it yet, as I want to make it more comprehensive and useful before sharing it. A great term for bug chasing I recently came across on social media is “pre-poz”, which is the perfect term to describe a person who is currently HIV-negative, but who is also on the path towards becoming HIV-positive, i.e., a bug chaser.
I drafted an article called “An Introduction to Bug Chasers and Bug Chasing” that I planned to make one of the first articles I published here, but I never ended up publishing it, because it seemed too basic for readers here, who are those of us already on the bug chasing path. As most of us already know what bug chasing and gift giving means, I figured the original article wasn’t necessary to include at this website, but now might be a good time to publish part of that article, as it complements what I am about to share with you.
Because I am constantly searching the internet for anything about bug chasing, I recently found a definition for bug chasing on YouTube, which was created by The Audiopedia. The video was published in 2017, so it has been online for several years, but the channel has been abandoned and The Audiopedia website is now pointing to a cryptocurrency trading platform. As the video is still available on YouTube, I wanted to talk about it here, as it’s a pretty good definition, but there’s some points such as rejection from society, self-harm and suicide referred to in the explanation that you might disagree with, so I thought this would make a great discussion.
“Bugchasing is the practice of pursuing sexual activity with HIV-positive individuals in order to contract HIV. Individuals engaged in this activity are referred to as bugchasers. It is a form of self-harm. Bugchasers seek sexual partners who are HIV-positive for the purpose of having unprotected sex and becoming HIV-positive. 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 and intimacy inherent in pursuing such a dangerous activity, but do not implicitly desire to contract HIV. Some researchers suggest that the behavior may stem from a “resistance to dominant heterosexual norms and mores” due to a defensive response by gay men to repudiate stigmatization and rejection by society. Some people consider bugchasing “intensely erotic” and the act of being infected through the “fuck of death” as the “ultimate taboo, the most extreme sex act left.” People who are HIV negative and in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive may 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. Others have suggested that some people who feel lonely desire the nurturing community and social services that support people with HIV/AIDS. It has also been used as a form of suicide.” – The Audiopedia.
The explanation did delve quite nicely into the subject and it seems that a reasonable amount of research was undertaken to create the definition. I would love to hear your feedback about this definition to see if we can come up with a better one to describe bug chasing. Do you fully agree with The Audiopedia definition or are there parts you disagree with and can perhaps come up with a better definition? Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below, and because bug chasing is personal to each of us, we might have different ways to describe bug chasing and every opinion is an appreciated contribution. This is the definition I came up with when I first started preparing this website:
“Bug chasers are HIV-negative people who want to become HIV-positive, most commonly through sexual intercourse. The term “bug” refers to HIV and the term “chaser” refers to the person intentionally seeking the virus from an infected person. A person who has made the decision to become a bug chaser will usually ask an unmedicated HIV-positive person to infect them with the virus. Some HIV-positive people who are wiling to infect other people with HIV are known as gift givers. Gift givers are HIV-positive people who have a detectable viral load who agree to have unprotected sex with an HIV-negative person with the intention of transmitting the virus to them. The term “gift” refers to HIV and the term “giver” refers to the act of giving the virus to the HIV-negative person. Not all HIV-positive people are gift givers, as a large percentage of HIV-positive people who are aware of their HIV status are taking medication to suppress the virus and make it undetectable, which makes it untransmittable. For this reason, a gift giver is an HIV-positive person who is not taking antiretroviral medication, which means the virus is detectable and can be transmitted to another person.” – Jason, Curious Chaser.
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. There’s no right or wrong definition and what makes coming up with a definition for bug chasing a little more complicated is that it involves many layers, because we can each have different reasons for being connected with bug chasing and the virus in general. That’s why we might get some different responses and I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to say. I thought this might be a fun way we can create a conversation that helps us stop for a moment to reflect on what bug chasing is and what it means to us, so thank you in advance for your contributions.
- Bugchasing meaning, definition and explanation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeCo3UXPkxs
Featured Photo: JesseMcFly from Pixabay.
Article ID: CC039
Version Control: 1.0 – May 21, 2022: Original article published.
Jason, I much prefer your definition than Audiopedia’s. I found their’s quite offensive. Your definition is fact-based terminology, whereas they attempt to apply certain aspects of psychology and diagnosis to the definition without being qualified to do so. Once again, Society being judgmental and attempting to enforce their “norms” on us.
My personal feeling is that Bugchaser/Bugchasing is the most common/accepted term used for this, and this is Jason’s honest, unconditional attempt to provide a non-judgmental and broad definition to the term(s). I wouldn’t change a thing and I solute Jason for his efforts.
Active/Passive Chasers have underlying, similar desires for the end result, but we each have different versions of the psychological menu of reasons for wishing to achieve it. Others of us here are Curious/Exploratory and may (or may not) simply be looking for validation or an understanding of their fantasies/desires. I was a Chaser before I became a Gifter. It’s been a long journey that started with the acknowledgement of my deep desires that I had suppressed because of society’s norms. But those norms were not established by people like us. I found the term “Self-harm” particularly offensive since my motivation was primarily sexual/erotic in nature, although I will admit there was a little “fuck you” to society’s norms thrown in there as well. But, we already don’t conform to society’s norms by simply being gay, bi, poly or whatever labels have been forced upon us. Because of that, we already have been given the gift of making our own rules of how we wish to live our lives and what we are comfortable with as individuals. You already addressed that in today’s world with the treatments readily available, HIV is no longer an automatic death sentence, so the implication of infection being used as a form of suicide is without merit the same as with any other infection/disease/illness where treatment is available. I am a Gifter and I choose to stay off meds as much as possible. If I started to become ill, I would go back on them. I had to do that when I had a cancer diagnosis (Non-HIV-related) and went through Chemo & Radiation treatment. I had to be on my HIV meds during that treatment, but as soon as I was recovered, I went back off. Audiopedia’s definition implies judgement and negativity, whereas I was motivated by sexual arousal and seeking sexual satisfaction. Ultimately, I achieved that and much more. I now feel liberated and at peace. Now, I’m truly free to enjoy sex with anyone I wish and this is a Gift I want to share with others so they can be at peace with themselves as well.
So Jason, I applaud you for what I feel is the most impartial, fact-based definition of the terms Bugchaser/Gift Giver (Gifter)/Bugchasing I have ever seen. As with all things, it is important to establish a mean/foundation as a jumping off point and I think your definition is just that.
Please forgive the rants of my own experience (that some may view as off-topic), but they were meant to cement the flaws in the other definition presented. It was flawed by trying to incorporate unaccredited psychological and societal judgements/assumptions that don’t belong there.
Thank you for your fantastic insights about the best definition to describe bug chasing. I agree with you about Audiopedia’s definition being judgemental and offensive. I was quite surprised when they threw self-harm into the definition, because anyone listening to this might take what they are saying seriously. I guess it’s true that some people might consider bug chasing a death wish and some have let the virus take them, but this not what happens in the majority of cases. I also agree with what you have written very comprehensively, as you have summed this up extremely well (perfectly actually) based on your own experiences, so thank you for sharing more about you being a bug chaser and becoming a gift giver and your thoughts regarding this.
Jason, Nice post. Since we’re defining terms, would you say “to poz someone” is simply to breed someone with toxic cum, or would the person have to actually convert to HIV+ to be able to say they were pozzed? Thanks!
Thanks Van. I would say the term “to poz someone” would mean the person saying it has successfully infected another person with HIV, but I’m not an expert and this is just my opinion, which others may disagree with.
Jason; can you say at this point that you someday *will* convert rather than still thinking about it?
I cannot commit to the word “will” at this time, as I’m only at the early stages of figuring myself out and fully understanding everything.
I used to avoid the word “bugchaser” when defining myself. I prefered “bug catcher” because I wasn’t going out looking for HIV, but I stayed off prep and away from condoms and was happy to sub for HIV+ men, detectable and undetectable, but still prefered sex with men (especially one in particular lol) that were Poz detectable and gifters.
So now I think it’s a matter of pride and I’m starting to be ok with the word “Bug Chaser” and when meeting guys online for hookups it’s easier to just say I’m a bug chaser. It sets the “rules” right up front and they either stop the convo or are cool with it. It’s a time saver lol.
I still say “purposely poz” though when asked my HIV+ status. That also communicates a lot right up front 😉
I have had a few people tell me they don’t connect as well with the term bug chaser and they look for alternate words to describe their pursuit towards becoming infected with HIV. I really like the term “bug catcher”, because it’s a term that embraces what’s happening, rather than a word that sounds like you are chasing it away. I’m glad you’re becoming more comfortable with the term, because it’s the most commonly used term, so when you say it, people know what you mean. It’s a term people are more familiar with, so it lets people know what you want, and then it’s up to them to take it or leave it. I also like the term “purposely pozzed”, as it’s very clear how you became infected with the virus and it also holds a sense of pride. Thanks for sharing more about yourself too Eric, it’s greatly appreciated.
Hi Eric thanks so much for this very exciting post – so happy how you now are being ok with the precise BUG CHaser term and like using it -its a very distinct and caring word indeed – and yes setting the rules as you write – and hopefully you are pretty soon achieving the HIV infection too
I’ve done a lot of research And talking and chatting and being around and close to hiv men in real life and over the years I became a big chaser because the more I learned about why they chased it or even if they didn’t a lot of hiv positive men I’ve talked to said that they ended up being glad it happened. And it inspired me to chase After it myself My definition is like yours where there had to be in intention to get the virus to be considered a chaser. I also have another definition for the ones that are not chasing but also are not caring to take the precautions to prevent it. I call them a poz risk because if you choose not to take the precautions yourself to not get it with all the options available then you by default assume the risk of getting it. I also love the term pre poz for chasers who are really chasing the virus pretty hard. Like myself.
Thank you for contributing to this discussion, because it’s a really interesting one. I found myself agreeing with everything you said. I have also found that the majority of the HIV+ people I have interacted with are happy with either their decision or the outcome, depending on whether they chased or whether it just happened. I know that not everyone is happy with the outcome after it happens, but the majority of people seem to be. Thank you for also sharing your thoughts about a definition for those who are not actively chasing, but who are not taking precautions to prevent themselves from becoming infected with the virus. The term poz risk is an excellent definition for those who are not taking steps to protect themselves, whilst they participate in actions that could lead to viral transmission. I’m glad you also like the term pre-poz, it’s a good one that describes those who have an intent to change their status based on their own thinking and actions. Thanks again for keeping this discussion active.
I believe bugchasing is barebacking with hiv positive partners with the intention of becoming poz
Thank you for your contribution and for starting the conversation Alfred. The keyword you used in your definition is “intention” and that’s exactly what bug chasing is all about. It’s wanting to intentionally contract the virus from an infected person.
Hi Jason – so relieved how you underline exactly this ‘intention’ concept – it is indeed the core issue: bug chasing is all about caring with everything (brain and balls) to become infected with HIV – its such a beautiful lifechanging desire and truly the best I ever did – becoming infected this this chronical and incurable desease – and hopefully you are becoming a part of our poz brotherhood rather soon – it would make me unbelievably proud and happy for you hugs Carsten
Hello Carsten, I am in agreement with you about bug chasing being about intentional HIV transmission from the perspective of an HIV-negative person who wants to contract the virus. It does take both brains and balls to take the step from thinking about becoming infected to actually becoming infected with a virus that currently has no cure. It’s definitely a life-changing experience and I appreciate you sharing your connection to the virus. I am currently contemplating taking the next step and will update you accordingly if any progress is made.
Thanks Jason you are so kind and supportive and human indeed and for me the individual shift from working hard and dedicated to avoid hiv to finally not just accepting but truly to want hiv so very much well prepared and very academically thought through is outstandingly admirable
Can I ask if your word if (‘IF’ any progress is made) is to be read literally or if if equals when?
You are welcome Carsten. I am making progress in terms of understanding HIV better, including exploring as many pros and cons as possible and I’m becoming more comfortable the better I understand the virus and how it works. The word “if” does involve progress being made, but there’s no time frame attached to it and I’m happily enjoying where I’m at right now. I wouldn’t want to apply any pressure by setting a deadline.
Dear Jason please forgive me ? for being impatient and for adding pressure: unkind of me, sorry, because pressure is counterproductive, I was not being considerate with you.
If it can be an excuse it’s important for me to tell you just how much I care for you and all your immense work for you and for us all thanks again
It’s alright Carsten, I do appreciate your enthusiasm regarding this, I just can’t give you a definite timeframe at this stage. Thank you for acknowledging the importance of this being done at my own pace, rather than it being a race. I am comfortable with how things are progressing and this is in the direction you are wanting me to move towards.
I can’t wait to see how you progress over time and see what you decided
Thanks! 🙂 I’m making slow progress, but as they say, progress is progress and I look forward to sharing more in due course.