Sex, Drugs, and HIV (VIDEO)

January 1, 2015 by Justin Lehmiller


“HIV is about sex and drugs—and if there are two things that make human beings a little bit irrational, they are erections and addiction.” – Elizabeth Pisani

In this TED talk, Elizabeth Pisani argues that, in order to prevent the spread of HIV, we need to start making policy decisions that are rational for public health instead of continuing business as usual and doing what is politically rational. Pisani uses scientific data to show how sex and drug policies that are made for political reasons can actually undermine our ability to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Although Pisani’s talk is going on five years old, I’m sharing it because her points still very much ring true. Indeed, in the last five years, politicians in the U.S. and many other parts of the world have (sadly enough) not significantly changed their positions on sex and drugs, and many of these positions remain counterproductive . Check out Pisani’s full talk below for more on the importance of basing policy decisions on science instead of politics.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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