After the clinic? Researching sexual health technology in context

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Abstract

There is great interest in what testing, pharmaceutical, information and social media technology can do for sexual health. Much programmatic and research activity is focused on assessing how these technologies can be used to best effect. Less obvious are analyses that place technology into historical, political and real-world settings. Developing an in-context analysis of sexual health technology, this paper draws on interviews with leading community advocates, researchers and clinicians in Australia, Canada and the UK and looks across examples, including social media, rapid HIV testing, pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV and polymerase chain reaction Chlamydia testing. The analysis is framed by studies of techno-society and the dialectics of sex-affirmative advocacy with biomedical authority and attends to: the rationalistic and affective dimensions of the imaginary associated with technology; the role of technology in the re-spatialisation and re-temporalisation of the sexual health clinic; and the reinvention of technology in its real-world contexts. This in-context approach is important for: the effective implementation of new technology; strengthening the social science contribution to the field; and enriching social theory in general on life in techno-societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398 - 411
Number of pages14
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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