Sex roulette parties are on the rise, where guests engage in huge orgies with the knowledge that one of the participants secretly has HIV. These risky group sex parties were invented by rich people in Serbia and are primarily attended by gay men and have since extended to teenagers in Spain.
“The wealthy organise these sex parties for other rich people,” says Tijana, a stripper from Serbia. “The real kick for these people is apparently the risk that they might be the one having sex with the HIV-infected partner.”
Tijana adds that the sex roulette parties are anonymous to increase the participants’ thrill. Attendees usually turn up wearing masks.
“Partygoers think the higher the risk, the stronger the thrill. In the case of sex parties the intense high is as you combine orgasm with high adrenaline,” explains psychosexual therapist Kate Morley. “However, the high is short-term and the long-term consequences are dangerous.”
Doctors in Barcelona noticed a sharp increase in patients infected with HIV. According to Josep Mallolas, a physician at the Hospital Clinic Barcelona, several of these parties are called blue parties because the participants take anti-viral drugs to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Caitlin Maron, a news officer from the international AIDS charity AVERT, says that innovations in HIV treatment contribute to the increased number of patients diagnosed with the disease. People take HIV less seriously now than they did before.
“We’ve become victims of our own success when it comes to treatment,” adds Maron. “HIV treatment is much more accessible and effective in this era, and people living with HIV are living healthier lives and into old age. As such, many people may feel that becoming infected with HIV isn’t such a ‘big deal.’”
Maron asserts, “Whilst the outlook for people living with HIV is certainly positive. It is still a life-long chronic condition, with treatment needing to be taken every day. Living with HIV can still be a significant challenge for many.”