Performance as intravention: Ballroom culture and the politics of hiv/aids in detroit

Marlon M. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


After twenty-six years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the disease's impact on people of African descent throughout the world has been devastating. This essay draws from performance ethnographic research on Ballroom culture and HIV/AIDS in Detroit, Michigan. Ballroom culture is a Black and Latina/o queer community in North America. In this examination, I delineate how Black queer members of the Ballroom community create and engage in HIV/AIDS prevention strategies through performance. I argue that Ballroom community members deploy forms of intravention, strategies for HIV/AIDS prevention that are created by and emerge from within the Ballroom community, a so-called “high risk community.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-274
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • At-risk communities
  • Ballroom culture
  • Black MSM
  • Communities of support
  • Intravention
  • Performance
  • Prevention balls
  • Stigmatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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