Don’t lose it on the bus!”: Casting the normative biosexual citizen in early Scottish PrEP provision

Ingrid Young*, Nicola Boydell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The introduction of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) raises important questions around how new biotechnologies are negotiated within contemporary settings and how they can shape the moral governance of biocitizens, or as we explore, biosexual citizens. This article draws on qualitative interviews and focus groups to consider how the normative biosexual citizen was cast at the start of provision in Scotland by clinical and community practitioners. Our findings show how practitioners navigated ideas around who was deserving of support and access to PrEP in the context of limited resources, interpreted what legitimate risk narratives might look like for different groups and translated particular gendered, sexualised and racialised risk profiles in the context of PrEP provision. This draws attention to how normative biosexual citizenship was not determined through meeting a set of clinical criteria and adhering to a prophylaxis regime but cast through ongoing negotiations with clinical and community practitioners in relation to normative ideas of essential care, constrained resources, risk narratives and gendered and racialised bodies. Our research indicates how access to PrEP will continue to demand particular enactments of normative biosexual citizenship that may well be at odds with the experiences and needs of communities affected by HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1062
JournalSociology of Health & Illness
Issue number5
Early online date15 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • inequalities
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • sexual health


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