Infection and Identity, Desire and Disease: Gay men, HIV/AIDS and the history of sexuality

ARCSHS Emeritus Professor and former Deputy Director Gary Dowsett has delivered a keynote plenary address at the 24th Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), held in Mexico City from 12-15 October 2019, on ‘Infection and Identity, Desire and Disease: Gay men, HIV/AIDS and the history of sexuality’.

The address discussed the inextricable links between the HIV epidemic and gay men, and the HIV epidemic's role in the development and relative value of new social and sexual identity categories, in light of post-feminism, queer theory and critical sexuality studies, and shifts in contemporary sexuality and gender politics. It was delivered to a full-house audience of 1500 congress delegates, held in the Mexico City World Trade Center, in conjunction with the Mexican Congreso Nacional de Educación Sexual y Sexología.

ARCSHS Associate Professor Christopher Fisher also presented a paper at the Congress, on key findings from the 6th National Survey of Australian Adolescent Sexual Health Knowledge, Behaviour and Education, at a symposium on Sexual Knowledge and Sex Education across the Globe, sponsored by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

The theme of this year's congress, ‘Building Bridges in Sexual Health and Rights’, saw the launch of the new WAS ‘Declaration on Sexual Pleasure’, adding an important issue so often forgotten in advocacy on sexuality issues to its earlier ‘Declaration of Sexual Rights’ and ‘Sexual Health for the Millennium’ documents.

WAS is a leading international organisation of researchers, educators, therapists and health professionals working in sexual health, sexuality education, sexual rights, sexology and sex research, and undertakes global advocacy on these issues.The next WAS Congress will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2021.

The conference abstracts are available online. Please contact ARCSHS if you have any accessibility issues.

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