chapter  11
One of Us, One of Them, or One of Those? The Construction of Identity and Sexuality in Relation to HIV/AIDS
Pages 12

It is commonly said that HIV and AIDS have forced a complex re-examination of sexuality and its relationship to identity. At the individual level, they direct attention to our sexual behaviours (Bayer, 1989; Davies and Project SIGMA, 1992; Earickson, 1990; Pollak et al., 1992:85-102). Collectively, through their symbolic and political weight, they force us to re-examine who we are, as a matter of survival (Crimp, 1988; Kayal, 1993; Watney, 1993). Third, and perhaps most crucially, questions of communitarian values are raised: individual behaviours and collective identities may be logically distinct, yet in the real world, and if we are to overcome AIDS, they must be inseparable (Holleran, 1987; Kayal, 1986). In Britain this is most obviously the case for gay men and gay communities.