niche of the bareback culture is not new. it's been around since the late 1990's.
There are many reasons and deep psychology as to why people choose to engage in the practice.
I've been sexually active and around since near the beginning of the epidemic. I've been HIV positive for about 30 years now. I've burried lots of friends. I've managed to survive and "dodge the bullets" over the years. I'm grateful for the medications which I take. I'm grateful to be alive and growing older. And for me, I've managed to put my experience to good purpose since I was age 19. HIV woke me up to my own mortality early in life, and gave me an urgency in my purpose. However, I do not advise that any other person choose the path which I happened to find myself upon. I did not choose to become HIV positive, it just happened because we didn't even know it was called "HIV" yet ("HTLV-III" was the name at the time). I'm one of the fortunate ones in my generation in that I have not only survived, but I have thrived.
I encourage people young and older to educate themselves about HIV AND other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), how they are contracted, what impact these diseases have on the body, and if/and how they can be treated. There are some STDs which cannot be cured. There are some STDs which cannot or can no longer be treated. This is the "threat risk identification" part of what I call "sexual risk management".
I then encourage people young and older to consider their "sexual risk tolerances" and then to choose the "reasonable and appropriate" controls and countermeasures to avoid or mitigate the risk of contracting an STD. Once these choices have been made, a person then is in the position to accept any residual risk and go about their sexual lives with an informed, reasoned sexual risk management strategy with tactics.
I do encourage prevention over treatment. However, some people may not agree with my viewpoint on this suggestion. That's ok. Nobody has to agree with my viewpoint in regards to the choices they make for their own lives. I just know that when it comes to my own sexual lifestyle and STDs that I prefer prevention over treatment. Granted, it's too late for me for HIV prevention, but it's not too late for me to prevent contracting other STDs which can be just as bad or worse than HIV. HIV just seems be more highly stigmatized (IMHO) than other STDs.
There is nothing that any one of us can do to stop other people who choose "bugchasing". There is nothing that any one of us can do to stop other people who chose "barebacking". Not even legislation can stop people from making these choices.
We can only make choices for ourselves. We can draw the line for our own lives. We can choose to say, "No, sex in that manner is not for me."
Finally, I encourage others to choose wisely, govern yourself accordingly, and accept whatever consequences accompany your choices and deeds.
Aloha and Be Well!