Chase Ledin is a queer historian and cultural theorist. His research concerns the histories of HIV/AIDS in the UK and US, the sociology of chronic medicine, and cultural discourses of “post-AIDS” and treatment-as-prevention. Chase is interested in the PrEP movement in England and Scotland. His work contributes to ongoing projects to historicize and archive queer narratives about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the “post-AIDS” communities that follow.
Chase received a Bachelor of Arts (2014) in Honors English and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University. In his final year, he served as a lead researcher for the gender-inclusive housing task force. He wrote a benchmark study on the use of heteronormative ideologies in the creation of gender non-conforming spaces in university housing policy.
Following his B.A., Chase completed a Master of Arts (2016) in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory at King’s College London. In his thesis, he analyzed journalist Andrew Sullivan’s end-of-AIDS ideology. Chase argued that Sullivan’s focus on HIV as a liveable condition, emerging in the mid-1990s, altered death out of the virus’s sustained presence in gay male communities (of affluence). In these circles, the assimilation of effective antiretrovirals introduced a ‘chronic life’ that did not retain the history of AIDS’s ‘death-defined’ features. The change in Sullivan’s narrative structure altered memory tactics for historicising the pandemic in linear fashions. In short, Sullivan’s contribution to “post-AIDS” ideology (among others within the Independent Gay Forum) laid the groundwork for a larger shift in (queer) community consciousness: namely, a re-negotiation of the forms of affect that emerged from caregiving and community activism during the first-wave AIDS epidemic and the movement to conceptualise HIV/AIDS as approaching an (“inevitable”) end.
Currently, Chase is a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. In his doctoral project, titled “Post-AIDS: HIV, Anticipation and the Cultures of Negotiated Safety,” he examines the cultural logic of negotiated safety during the treatment-as-prevention era (1996-present). This project explores questions of ethics and politics in treatment-as-prevention activist projects. Specifically, it analyses how “post-AIDS” projects (i.e. novels, plays, documentaries and manifestos) construct “less-viral” or “non-viral” futures, and how they negotiate HIV prevention using queer and sexual politics. This project reflects on the emergence of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in England and Scotland. Looking at cultural materials from the late 2000s to the present, this project asks two primary questions: (1) In what ways are antiretroviral technologies employed to negotiate queer sexual politics that imagine alternative configurations of living in the present? and (2) How can the use and representation of PrEP empower alternative configurations of sexual possibility and sexual politics? Ultimately, this project seeks to understand the relationship between biomedicine, queer activism and sexual politics. How do queer cultures devise, construct, implement and enact activism, historiography and performativity in order to envision a variety of pleasures, intimacies, histories and futures in the “post-AIDS” period?