The Evolution of HIV Prevention: From Discipline to Control

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. Oct/Dec 2019;42(4):E1-E10. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000268.


HIV prevention has changed since the identification of AIDS in 1981, the discovery of HIV in 1983, and the rollout of HIV antibody testing in 1985. Since this time, HIV prevention changed from behavior modification to testing to treatment as prevention to chemoprophylaxis using HIV medications among HIV-negative persons. While these modifications have been heralded as public health successes, critical evaluations are needed. In this article, we present one such review in which we argue that HIV prevention, while previously disciplinary in the Foucauldian sense, has become controlling in the Deleuzian sense. In this way, the parameters of context are targeted and behavior change is less relevant. This highlights the importance of questioning public health "advancements" and using novel theoretical lens to do so.