Work exploring inter-species relating has offered a critique of the anthropocentrism evident within much social sciences research and also suggested that the coming together of the human and animal-Other may offer up potential for an opening-up of human existence. In this article we explore this theoretical move and push it to the limits by examining the relationship between the human and a very particular animal-Other, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Thus we move the focus from an analysis of companionate human-animal relating (Haraway, 2003, 2008) to what appears to be antagonistic species relating. This is empirically grounded through the story of one man living with this virus and how he has come to find a way to accommodate the animal-Other. This article aims to not only advance theory but also provide insights into how it might be possible to find new ways of living with a viral-Other.
- inter-species relating
- long-term coping