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Geographies of PrEP, TasP and undetectability: Reconceptualising HIV assemblages to explore what else matters in the lives of gay and bisexual men

Brown, Gavin and Di Feliciantonio, C (2021) Geographies of PrEP, TasP and undetectability: Reconceptualising HIV assemblages to explore what else matters in the lives of gay and bisexual men. Dialogues in Human Geography. ISSN 2043-8206

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Abstract

© The Author(s) 2021. Recent biomedical innovations in the field of HIV prevention and treatment – namely PrEP, TasP, and ‘undetectability’ – have completely reshaped the experience of living with HIV, as well as the meanings of ‘risk’ and ‘safety’ in relation to sexual practices, leading to new forms of pleasure and sociality for gay and bisexual men in the Minority World. While human geographers have been slow to engage with the changing social dimensions brought by these innovations, scholars across the whole spectrum of the social sciences have been far more creative and responsive contributing to a critical understanding of what these processes entail in terms of subject formation as well as social and communal relations. This article proposes a distinctly geographical contribution to analysing and interpreting these biomedical technologies, exploring the ways that new spatialities and spatial relations emerge from their use and circulation. Our approach is based on provisional assemblage thinking as it offers the possibility to think the complex connections between biomedical innovations in the field of HIV, sexual practices, subjectivity, pleasure, spaces, and technologies, going beyond the subdisciplinary preoccupations and methodological reflexes of geographers focused primarily on either health or sexuality.

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