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Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



This paper was part of the 2015-2016 Penn Humanities Forum on Sex. Find out more at


This project will study the methods by which contemporary gay pornography has confronted and attempted to radically reconfigure the narratives, politics, and erotics of AIDS/HIV. Focusing especially on the film Viral Loads by Treasure Island Media and the controversy that surrounded its release, characterized by articles on the film from VICE and Salon, this project will argue for the ability of the film to produce a re-reading of major stigma against viral bodies and the condition of sickness within eroticism through the form of pornography and erotic spectatorship. This project will argue that the hyper-exposition of the viral gay male body in sexuality offers a healing mechanism against the fear, marginalization, and pathologization that come with stigma towards AIDS/HIV.



Date Posted: 18 November 2016