Discipline with Pleasure: The New Governmentality of HIV Prevention

Tony Joakim Sandset, Kaspar Villadsen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    This article explores recent HIV prevention campaigns that seek to integrate pleasure and desire in their messages on risk behaviour. This emerging health promotion no longer simply approaches target groups with demands to abstain from harmful substances or practices, but includes messages that recognize individuals’ habits, values and desires for pleasure. Inspired by Foucault’s notions of biopolitics, discipline and security, we develop an analytical framework and apply it in a study of two recent HIV prevention campaigns. While discipline strives to eliminate the abnormal and unwanted, security regulation refrains from judging human behaviour against rigid norms. Foucault’s notion of security operates with levels of acceptability and examines a multiplicity of life forms, including those considered as ‘abnormal’ and posing a health risk to the population. The analysis of the campaigns demonstrates a preparedness to recognize, examine and utilize what have conventionally been considered abnormal identities and behaviours.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2019
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventAPL 2019 Conference: Truth, Fiction, Illusion: Worlds & Experience - Klagenfurt, Austria
    Duration: 31 May 20192 Jun 2019


    ConferenceAPL 2019 Conference
    Internet address


    • HIV/AIDS
    • Security
    • PrEP
    • Foucault
    • Governmentality
    • Discipline
    • Sex

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