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


  • Security
  • PrEP
  • Foucault
  • Governmentality
  • Discipline
  • Sex

Cite this