Steven Philpot – The Opposites Attract Interviews: Exploring Gay Australian Serodiscordant Couples

Event type: 
Event date: 
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Berg Family Foundation Seminar Room, Level 6, Wallace Wurth Building, Kensington Campus, UNSW Sydney
Contact for inquiries: 
Rata Joseph, +61 (2) 9385 0900 or

Kirby Institute Seminar Series presents


Steven Philpot  


Steven Philpot


PhD Student, HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program, Kirby Institute


About your speaker

Steven Philpot is a sociologist with a background in cultural studies. He is currently researching gay men’s relationships, in particular how monogamy and non-monogamy are practiced, and how serodiscordant couples manage HIV.



The emergence of biomedicine has changed how serodiscordant couples practice HIV prevention and experience HIV in daily life. Many couples are currently using an HIV-positive partner’s undetectable viral load (UVL) for prevention (UfP), enjoying the pleasure and intimacy of condomless sex without the risk of transmission. They frequently take a relational approach towards prevention, and think of prevention as a coupled ‘project’ – something mutually negotiated. In daily life, couples often assert the insignificance of HIV, and describe it as normalised and as existing on the peripheral. Yet, stories of normalisation can be fraught with contradiction as couples discuss the challenges they experience in navigating their serodiscordance. This presentation draws on interviews with 21 gay men representing 15 serodiscordant couples in Sydney, Australia, to explore the importance of ‘the couple’ for HIV prevention, and to further interrogate the ‘normalisation’ of HIV.