Topic Essay
After the discussion held on HIV prevention, what are the arguments for and against scare tactics and abstinence-only campaigns? What is lacking in current prevention efforts and campaigns? Describe other ways we can help prevent the spread of HIV?

Scare tactics campaigns for HIV prevention work extremely well in producing a shock and awe effect from the targeted audience. This is because they portray the severity of having HIV through very graphical images and real testimonies from individuals that already have HIV. This form media shock tends to briefly bring up the use of preventive care from the targeted audience. But scare tactics campaigns also tend to be negatively affected by the same factor that propels its success. Gay communities tend to speak out strongly against these campaigns for their way of portraying individuals with HIV as sub-humans and for not promoting ways to live a healthy life if you already have HIV. The gay community says that they work hard towards getting individuals to proactively seek testing and preventive care, but that such scare tactic campaigns only scare potential individuals away from receiving help. Another reason why such campaigns are not successful is because when they reach individuals that already fearful of HIV they “engage in a range of coping strategies including: avoidance, denial and counter-arguing” (Menadue, 2011).

Abstinence-only campaigns are great because they inform the targeted audience about the only method that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. These types of campaigns tend to have one powerful overlying message that leaves no room for confusion such as campaigns that speak out towards STDS and pregnancy but indirectly promote sex. Abstinence-only campaigns also tend to promote ethical and moral decision making that not only helps the target audience prevent catching STDS but also from being involved in drugs and other similar troubling issues....