It is necessary to make it very clear at the outset that the widespread images that many people have of Sweden as a kind of sexually liberated wonderland are utterly misguided and wrong. Sweden has some of the harshest sex laws in the world. It is the only European country, for example, where during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, a national law was passed abolishing existing gay bathhouses and prohibiting the establishment of new ones. It is also one of the few countries in the world where persons with HIV can still be forcibly incarcerated without a criminal trial, simply because doctors believe that they will not follow instructions to inform their sexual partners that they are HIV+. Sweden is also one of the few countries in Europe – perhaps the only one – where it is impossible to remain anonymous as a person with HIV: if you test positive at any state funded or private clinic, your physician is legally obliged to report your identity to the health authorities, and you are then legally obliged to report to a doctor regularly with information about your sexual encounters and relationships.

Don KULICK, “Sex in the New Europe, The Criminalization of Clients and Swedish Fear of Penetration, Anthropological Theory 2003 3: 199


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