Hi Snopes, I have seen stories floating around Facebook (as well as a couple of sensationalist British newspapers) claiming that 'sex roulette parties'involving a hiv positive participant are on the rise.
Is there any truth to this or is it fake news being mistaken for the truth?
In early May 2016, a number of tabloids around the world published stories about a “new” trend called sex roulette, in which people gather for unprotected sex with at least one member is secretly HIV-positive.
On , Britain’s Extreme ‘ sex roulette ‘ parties – where one person secretly has HIV and no one is allowed to wear a condom – are on the rise, doctors have warned.
The risky orgies are usually attended by gay men and offer the so-called ‘thrill’ of not knowing whether or not you will be infected .
Doctors in Barcelona have seen a rise in the number of such parties, which they claim is a sign that people have “lost respect” for HIV.
Dr Josep Mallolas of Hospital Clinic Barcelona told el Periodico : “There is everything: sex roulette parties, or sex parties you can only attend if you already have HIV.” He added that some of the events are known as ‘blue’ parties because attendees take anti-viral drugs to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
A Spanish-language source cited by English-language tabloids seemed to stipulate that the activity was restricted to gay men.That article (translated) mentioned sex roulette, before addressing a single doctor’s larger cautionary viewpoint: Doctors at Hospital Clínic dealing with infectious diseases and AIDS have warned that Barcelona residents are having encounters known as sexual roulette, in which one person of the group is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in order to give them a more stimulating experience. Josep Mallolas, warn that people have “lost respect” for a disease that, when treated, is no longer deadly, but is incurable and life threatening.These meetings, reports Cadena Ser, consist of groups of people — usually gay men — who engage in orgies or group sex that include the guest suffering from AIDS, but without disclosing which participant is the sick individual.There is no credible evidence that such an event has ever occurred, much less is “on the rise.” The claim of HIV-infecting sex parties sweeping the globe is based on vague statements purportedly made by a single physician in Spain, and none of the published articles carried firsthand reports.The closest was a statement made at one time by a stripper in Serbia who simply claimed such events were happening (not that she had ever attended or witnessed one).In 2003, columnist Andrew Sullivan published a piece critical of a related moral panic over what is called “bug chasing.” While the term remains in the vernacular as a practice in which an individual deliberately seeks out HIV infection, Sullivan took issue with reports that it was a widespread practice: It was an all-red, over-the-banner Drudge headline, guaranteed to grab attention.“MAG: 25% OF NEW HIV-INFECTED GAY MEN SOUGHT OUT VIRUS, SAYS SAN FRAN HEALTH OFFICIAL.” Drudge was referring to a four-page story by one Gregory A.Freeman, in Rolling Stone magazine, owned by gay media mogul Jann Wenner.It was quickly picked up by conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity, who never misses an opportunity to denigrate gay men.For many who witnessed the media onslaught, it will soon be accepted as fact.That’s a shame, because not long after hitting the newsstands, the story has completely fallen apart.