What does a body on PrEP do? Emergent figurations of Tenofovir-Emtricitabine (non)use in communities of men who have sex with men

Year of award: 2018


  • Adam Christianson

    Goldsmiths, University of London

Project summary

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to prevent sexually transmitted HIV in trials of HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Lauded as a game changer in HIV prevention, many are surprised by the low uptake among at-risk MSM and resistance from health agencies to promote its use.

I will investigate PrEP’s effectiveness in practice. In theory, there is nothing inherently meaningful about bodies of MSM or the prophylactic they use. In concert with each other, however, they develop meaning and can become enmeshed in the fabric of everyday life, including more pervasive narratives about healthy sexuality. I am interested in the ways PrEP becomes meaningful in relationships between various groups of MSM.

Interviewing PrEP users and MSM who do not use it, I aim to understand what PrEP is used for and how the act of using or not using PrEP enables otherwise unconceivable relationships.