Body/Selves and Beyond: Men's Narratives of Sexual Behavior on PrEP

Med Anthropol. 2018 Jul;37(5):387-400. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2017.1416608. Epub 2018 Jan 19.


Although pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has dramatically impacted HIV prevention, deep engagement with PrEP-takers' own accounts of their sexual behavior is still rare. We report findings from semi-structured interviews with male participants of the US PrEP Demonstration Project. In their narratives, interviewees variously foregrounded their individual selves, interactions with sexual partners, and the biopolitical and historical context of their lives. PrEP served to discursively integrate the multiple selves populating these stories. We argue that medical anthropological notions can help make sense of men's accounts, and PrEP's role in them, advancing a holistic conception of personhood that includes but transcends concern with HIV.

Keywords: HIV prevention; MSM; US; pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); risk; sexual behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Medical
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections* / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Narration
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • United States


  • Anti-HIV Agents