From ‘terribly pitiful’ to ‘red badges of courage’? Sexual health and sexually transmitted infections among men who had sex with men before HIV

Richard McKay
(Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge)

Dr McKay will discuss preliminary findings from the ‘Before HIV’ project, an ongoing historical research study funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project investigates the mid-twentieth-century history of sexual health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among gay men and other men who had sex with men (MSM), with a geographic focus on England and North America. Drawing on a range of published and archival sources, Dr McKay will summarise the main social and political changes underpinning an apparent rise in STIs among MSM from the 1950s onward. He will explore how shifting conceptions of non-normative sexuality influenced how closely people linked MSM and female sex workers with the transmission of STIs. Finally, he will examine strategies employed by some MSM during this period to reduce their risk of infection.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 12.45 pm – 2.00 pm
Venue: LG8, Keppel Street Building


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