Subscribing to Governmental Rationality: HBO and the AIDS Epidemic
Between 1987 and 2013, HBO produced or distributed over twenty HIV/AIDS programs. These films trace a cultural shift from an early focus on AIDS as a public health issue to be dealt with through individual “safe-sex” practices and ethical citizenship to a later focus on
AIDS as a global pandemic where the explicit strategy becomes a reliance on non-state actors to combat AIDS. This article argues that HBO's HIV/AIDS films are embedded within a cultural approach to AIDS that relies on governmental logics and neoliberal solutions – not direct action,
but directing action.