Mediated intimacies: Raw sex, Truvada, and the biopolitics of chemoprophylaxis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article offers a retrospective view on Unlimited Intimacy by evaluating the status of pharmaceutical mediation in the emergence and development of bareback as a sexual practice. It examines the US public health recommendation of 2014 that HIV-negative people should begin taking Truvada, an AIDS drug, for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Situating the pragmatics of PrEP in a discussion of the medicalization of gay sexuality, it argues that Truvada has biopolitical side effects that warrant critical attention. Drawing on queer theorist Beatriz Preciado, the article elaborates a concept of ‘pharmacopower’ to contextualize the development of chemoprophylaxis in the history of sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-246
Number of pages23
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 21 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bareback sex
  • biopower
  • fantasy
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • queer theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Anthropology


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