Freeman, in Rolling Stone magazine, owned by gay media mogul Jann Wenner.
Speaking last year, she told Serbian newspaper Telegraf: “I can see that everyone is talking about sex parties now, but in fact they have been common for a long time even here in Serbia.
A Spanish-language source cited by English-language tabloids seemed to stipulate that the activity was restricted to gay men.
In other words, the identity of the HIV positive guest would be known to at least one person–making it not a secret.
Second, there is little evidence to back up the reports that were carried by outlets such as The Sun, The Mirror and The Daily Mail (and later picked up by some gay news outlets).
In 2003, columnist Andrew Sullivan published a piece critical of a related moral panic over what is called “bug chasing.” While the term remains in the vernacular as a practice in which an individual deliberately seeks out HIV infection, Sullivan took issue with reports that it was a widespread practice: It was an all-red, over-the-banner Drudge headline, guaranteed to grab attention.
“MAG: 25% OF NEW HIV-INFECTED GAY MEN SOUGHT OUT VIRUS, SAYS SAN FRAN HEALTH OFFICIAL.” Drudge was referring to a four-page story by one Gregory A.
The story centers on a bizarre sub-subcultural phenomenon known as “bug chasing.” A few HIV-negative gay men, for all sorts of deep and dark psychological reasons, appear actually to be seeking out HIV infection.
Some HIV-positive men, it is also alleged, are just as willing to infect these troubled souls with HIV. There were occasional stories about it in the late 1990s, stories that fueled an urban legend but that never made it to the mainstream. Because of simple lack of hard evidence that anyone but a very few disturbed people were involved.
There is no credible evidence that such an event has ever occurred, much less is “on the rise.” The claim of HIV-infecting sex parties sweeping the globe is based on vague statements purportedly made by a single physician in Spain, and none of the published articles carried firsthand reports.