Gay Sex Workers in China’s Medical Care System : The Queer Body with Necropolitics and Stigma

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number8188
Number of pages13
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number21
Online published5 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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Abstract

The struggles of China’s gay sex workers—men who sell sex to other men—illustrate how the multi-layered stigma that they experience acts as a form of necropolitical power and an instrument of the state’s discrimination against gay sex workers who are living with HIV. One unintended side effect of this state power is the subsequent reluctance by medical professionals to care for gay sex workers who are living with HIV, and discrimination from Chinese government officers. Data obtained from 28 gay sex workers who are living with HIV provide evidence that the necropower of stigma is routinely exercised upon the bodies of gay sex workers. This article examines how the necropolitics of social death and state-sanctioned stigma are manifested throughout China’s health system, discouraging gay sex workers from receiving health care. This process uses biopolitical surveillance measures as most of gay sex workers come from rural China and do not enjoy urban hukou, thus are excluded from the medical health care system in urban China. Public health priorities demand that the cultured scripts of gendered Chinese citizenship must reevaluate the marking of the body of gay sex workers as a non-entity, a non-human and socially “dead body.”.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Gay sex workers, HIV, Hukou, Medical care, Necropolitics, Stigma

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