The ‘Bug Chasers’ Who Actually Want To Get HIV/AIDS

“[Bug chasers] are reaching out for some kind of intimacy. They want to feel accepted and a part of something. It’s a distorted way of exploring how you can become intimate with someone else.” —Antoine Douaihy

In A Nutshell

“Bug chasing” is a term used to describe a person who pursues sex with an HIV-infected individual. It is classified as a form of self-harm and has been reported in gay communities. In some cases, people seek out AIDS in order to fit in, please a sexual partner, or simply for thrills. To date, it is not fully understood why people do this or how to prevent it.

The Whole Bushel

In 2009, Rolling Stone Magazine published an article that suggested gay and bisexual men were actively seeking partners with HIV in order get the disease. The article described the practice as being “intensely erotic” and the “ultimate taboo and most extreme sex act left.” However, the same article has been criticized for glamorizing the subject. According to the magazine, 25 percent of all new, gay male infections in the United States may be due to bug chasing. However, the actual percentage is probably around 1–2 percent.

In the last couple years, the practice of bug chasing has started to spread over social networking and been reported by the media. Some people have even claimed that HIV will give them a better quality of life because of the medication. One individual, Nick, is quoted on Facebook: “Tested positive on 21st September and totally loving it! Wanna share with any chasers, CD4 is 971, VL 100,000 – nice and toxic!”

Simon Prytherch, of the Elton John Aids Foundation has tried to educate people on bug chasing and said: “This practice is very scary and highly irresponsible. What we are seeing are cases of treatment failure and then rapid decline in health.” Despite the danger, people continue to seek AIDS in certain situations. A bug party is an event that involves a large collection of HIV-positive men having intercourse with one uninfected man, or a large collection of clean individuals and one HIV-positive man. Dr. Gerald Schoenewolf has said of bug chasers: “They want to feel accepted and a part of something.”

Show Me The Proof

Barebacking and bug chasers: expressions of an HIV subculture
The Body: Chasing Bugs or the Truth?

  • uglyskank

    There is really nothing to say except w.t.f?

  • Kaydot Mcdiamonds

    Like seriously the fuck? Why?!?!?!!!!!!

  • SanderT

    I’m sorry, but illustrating an article about this kind of idiotic behaviour with a picture of two dudes holding hands is kind of like illustrating an article about crime in the suburbs with a picture of black people having a picnick. Please spare the time to find appropriate illustrations, or don’t illustrate at all.

    • Hellsgift2u

      According to the magazine, 25 percent of all new, gay male infections in the United States may be…… Its apart of what was reported, so it does go along with the ill-informed article.

    • shoja ahmad

      Well it makes sense. To show to gay guys, the article is talking about gay guys giving other gay guys aids.

    • Article I see about AIDS, then the image goes well, HIV is a disease or rather it is a virus that continues to spread and hopefully soon besides everyone aware of our sexual life, also has a cure .

      Miguel Araujo
      crear correo hotmail

  • ;lfmlfdkmgldkfh

    what the crap is wrong with these people!?!??!?!?!?!

    • Thisoldspouse

      They’re “gay.” Enough said.

  • disqus_7LSjEGST9y

    I feel like this list is an open invitation to a whole lot of upcoming homophobic comments. I’m gay and this completely shocked me, personally I could never in my life risk my health like that to ‘fit in’, I hope this doesn’t start in Australia.. so before any harsh comments remember – we are not all like that, I bet there are straight people who are bug chasers too.

    • jewknowwhatimsayin

      You, you, you its all about you.

    • Elisabeta Balaur

      Not liking gay or agreeing with gay culture is not “homophobic”.

      • Fredster

        That pretty much is the definition. So yeah.

        • Richard Hembree

          Not true. I’m a bisexual and I do not think that disagreeing with gay culture is necessarily homophobic. Now modifying your behavior, changing the way you interact with someone, or even refusing to communicate with someone just because of their sexuality would be considered homophobic to me. I know people who don’t understand or agree with homosexuality and we get along just fine. Also, people who abuse the term homophobic could be termed “heterophobic” by their own loose standards of what it means to be “-phobic.”

          • Elisabeta Balaur

            I have the right to refuse to communicate with anyone I feel like, for any reason whatsoever, including their sexuality or the fact that they listen to Glee, and that is not “homophobic” or whateverelse-o-phobic. Refusing to talk to somebody is not in any way an attack. Verbally or physically abusing somebody, for whatever reason, let alone their sexual orientation, is a whole different slice of cake.This whole tolerance bullsh*t has gone way too far. And if you are a potential employer who got here by Googling my name and reading this, eat me.

          • kthomp1123

            You are awesome.

    • RadicalCenter

      Never heard of one. Stop trying to pretend that your mentally ill demographic is just like the rest of us.

  • cire

    thats like choosing life or death.

  • MysteriousDark Ending

    Yes, there are some weird people out there, it would be difficult to control as there wouldn’t exactly be symptoms of someone wanting to do it, apart from when they get it and are happy about it. I agree though, a giant WTF am I reading moment

  • celeѕтнra

    I’ve heard of people with HIV/AIDS who purposely hookup with random (healthy) people just to spread the disease in the name of ‘revenge’, but THIS??

    • Thisoldspouse

      Some even try to donate blood… in “protest,” of course.

  • efewewrerggeg


  • Julie Green-Wyrosdick

    I am wondering if maybe some gay men are becoming “bug chasers” because they have intense anxiety about catching H.I.V so they just want to go ahead and “get it over” so to speak, get infected on their own terms. Maybe they feel it is inevitable that they are going to catch the virus so by intentionally catching the disease they think they are taking control of their future. I don’t want to judge anyone, whatever their reasons behind this I find it very, very sad. I am glad their are organizations like Elton John’s that are addressing this problem and trying to educate and inform people about this dangerous trend.

    • Gregory Myers

      I believe some psychologists have posited this as a possible cause of the problem, sort of a “there is a good chance as a sexually active gay male I will get AID’s, but at least I can choose when and how I get it” thing. Coming from someone who is gay, this is the reason I don’t date/Am not active, I am paranoid about getting disease and too much of it goes around the gay community. This isn’t to say that all gay people are promiscuous (I am obviously not), or that I am a self hating gay, or discriminate against my own kind or whatever. Simply that due to circumstances that I don’t blame on gay people, there is a lot of AID’s in the gay community. There are also too many people who hide that they have the monster from others, and all it has to be is a small minority for it to be a huge problem.

  • Chester

    Fucking Fags, anyone who actively would seek out and be happy they got aids should be shot, i less pos in the gene pool.

    • Jessikah

      Who upvoted this comment?!

      • Richard Hembree

        Dunno, but using offensive terms really doesn’t give anyone credibility so I wouldn’t worry about it. Plus, most of them are “guests” so we can’t see who they are. The fact that you’re willing to allow others to see that this comment bothers you shows a type of courage they obviously don’t have.

      • Chester


        • kthomp1123


  • Happy Camper

    I was a bug chaser when I was younger, the difference being I was trying to catch beetles and butterflies and shit.

  • gary333

    I just have one word, Truvada….

  • Chaser
  • harry chris

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  • anonymous

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  • anonymous

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  • anonymous

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  • Lydia Rainbowmuncher

    Using a picture of two men lovingly holding hands in an article about people trying to contract HIV and AIDS isn’t really appropriate, just like using an illustration of a loving straight couple holding hands wouldn’t be. It encourages the stereotype that homosexual people (homosexual men specifically) are all carriers of the infection, that they are the cause of it, or that they are not educated about it and capable of going about safe sex. The picture doesn’t even incite that they are sexually active: For all we know they could be an abstinent couple. Homosexuality does not directly refer to gay sex, especially unsafe, uneducated gay sex and the conception of an STI. The straight AND lgtbq community both have their share of people who practise this terrible life-choice, and really, someone’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with making bad decisions or even accidentally receiving an STI.

  • missmoniker99

    The proper term for this kind of behavior is known as sociopathic. These people should be locked up if they have so little regard for the lives and well being of others.

  • Makomva Naome

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  • Marisa Martin

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  • Marisa Martin

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  • jim m

    I’m a submissive gay total bottom. I love a guy in control forcing me to do anything he wants. I like guys who don’t ask me if they can fuck me or if they have to use a condom. I love bareback sex, feeling his cum in my ass. It’s scary and exciting.
    I don’t want AIDS but it would be exciting to have a guy holding me down, then telling me he is pos and I can’t escape from him.him .He fucks me and fills me full of his seed. I then belong to him. A submissive’s dream.

  • Linda Antherson

    Thank to dr. omoadona for his good work I really believe HIV have cure I was HIV positive over since 1year plus before I come across a comment Dr Omoadona that he have cure to any disease and virus but when I saw it i have it in mind that he can’t cure HIV I just decided to give a try I contact him that night lucky to me he said yes but I don’t believe him I think it was a scam or some thing like that but I still hold on to see the work of Dr Omoadona if he is saying the true he ask for different things and some question about me I give him all the detail he needed and I wait to see his reply to my problem after all the things is done he ask me to go for check up I went for hiv test I cant believe I was negative the medicine doctor was surprise and doctor even ask for Dr Omoadona email which i give to him, he is help people that contact him also he can still help you on your cure thanks Dr Omoadona for helping me for the cure at this young age if you need help contact him now

  • Emilio Johnson

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  • Brenda

    I know how to prevent Bug Chasers!!! Don’t allow them the antiviral cocktails, completely cut them out of the medication and introduce them to “The real AIDS virus” Then let’s see how popular this phenomenon is!! It makes me sick. Growing up during the death era of HIV/AIDS, I remember how fearful it was and how hard gays fought to get help from government and medical personnel. It may be listed as a chronic condition these days but back then it was death, an ugly & painful death!!! It was the first virus I had heard of. I remember being intrigued at the age of 8 years and the images of this awful virus. I was fearful of it at such a young age, I starting reading everything I could on it. It shocks me that as a young, female, heterosexual, virgin child I took it more seriously than actively promiscuous, homosexual adults do. It is also insulting to the homosexual adult survivors of the AIDS era, what the Hell did they fight so hard for? Cut off the cocktails to these idiot bug chasers and tell them to enjoy their “gift”!!

  • Brittini Alexandra

    Fucking freaks! You want aids so damn much, go ahead and catch it but don’t waste taxpayer money treating your pathetic loser asses! You shouldn’t even be given a hospital bed to live out your last days. Just tossed in the garbage because that’s what you are!