Switch On Your HIV Smarts.

Sexy PrEP Ads Appeal to Pleasure

, by Emily Land

Empowerment and pleasure are replacing fear as the motivation central to HIV prevention public health campaigns, especially for new HIV prevention strategies such as PrEP. For many, PrEP removes the anxiety associated with HIV fear and lack of control, and this benefit should be emphasized in public health campaigns, say Sarah Calabrese, PhD and Kristen Underhill, JD, DPhil in a commentary published in the American Journal of Public Health. “The dual advantages to sexual health that PrEP offers as a strategy that both prevents disease and promotes pleasure ought to be celebrated,” they say.

HIV-negative people use PrEP, which involves taking a daily pill along with regular HIV testing, to prevent HIV infection. Studies have found that PrEP helps to reduce the anxiety many gay and bisexual men have about sex.

Here are four of our favorite PrEP promotion campaigns that spark interest in PrEP by appealing to pleasure and giving a powerful reminder that empowered, safer sex can make sex even more enjoyable.

New York City’s “Play Sure” campaign

PrEP NYC3On December 18, The New York Times reported on an new ad campaign displayed in New York City subway trains depicting the phrase “Play Sure,” in lieu of traditional safety or fear-based messaging. The ads feature a range of sexual and gender orientations. Watch the video on YouTube and read more about the campaign.

Latino cowboy fantasizes about hot shower hookup; takes PrEP

cowboyAltaMed’s ¡Listo! campaign turns up the heat with a series of short YouTube videos showing different Latinos incorporating PrEP into their everyday lives. Watch this vaquero get ready for a night out as he showers, takes PrEP and stashes a condom in his pocket. He’s ready (listo) for whatever the night may bring.

Jacobs: “Because F-cking Feels Good”  

JacobsNew York City therapist and founder of the Facebook group PrEP Facts, Damon Jacobs, breaks out his abs for a Queerty article sharing the stories of five men and why they take PrEP. “Why do we still have new HIV infections in 2015? Because f-cking feels good,” he’s quoted as saying in the article. “When we start from there, then we can discuss ways that sex can also be healthy, responsible, and empowering.”


Edgy superheroes fight stigma & promote PrEP  

superhero1Indulge a geeky fantasy as you flip through this series of men decked out in elaborate, edgy superhero costumes to promote PrEP. Housing Works Community Healthcare worked with celebrity fashion photographer Mike Ruiz to produce this multimedia campaign highlighting the real-life stories of nine men, including porn star Mike Dreyden and dancer/model Alex Zarlengo, taking PrEP and what they do to fight stigma, combat stereotypes and promote PrEP.



Read more about PrEP on BETA, on www.prepfacts.org, and find a PrEP-friendly provider at www.PleasePrEPMe.org.


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