Influence of Media on HIV Advocacy

As highlighted in the course reading, media as a window on the world has a responsibility of giving a perfect package of information about what is happening around the globe. Notably, it has a role in controlling public awareness on the transmission and exposure to HIV. A UNAID report on those affected directly, PLWH, shows that wrongful and biased communication often disadvantage People Living with HIV (PLWH). Besides, it blocks sympathy from the well-wishers. Also, it inhibits good relations between the victims and community members. However, broadcasting correct and detailed information builds the right awareness as well as slowing down the spread of HIV/AIDS.

A research article available on the National Biotechnology information Center shows that positive and truthful media campaigns result to increased awareness of HIV/AIDS and the right prevention mechanisms. The U.S introduced a VISION Project in Nigeria that showed a positive impact on educating the population on dangers of HIV/AIDS. The program focused on reaching out to a larger population, particularly those with limited access to any form of media in the rural areas. The information distributed included the importance of practicing safe sex and equipping people with helpful information on addressing HIV patients. These activities were aimed at generating positive effects of distributing proper health-related news and support programs. Therefore, such national involvements should be raised internationally. Besides, mass media should be educated on information honesty and accuracy especially in those regions experiencing inequalities.

635975763239472267148272066_STOPhivHowever, the case seems different in China due to dishonesty in media publications which significantly increases the spread of this disease. The threat of HIV/AIDS is a serious concern as shown by the increasing involvements by both the government and the NGOs to improve the awareness of the disease. Notably, J. Hood’s article, Media perception on HIV in China similarly explains this message by shedding light on the poor and racial media messages in China. These messages suggest a wrong sense of HIV insusceptibility among the elite Chinese natives. In this case, the media presents a biased health information to the public which paints the Africans and the unfortunate natives in rural China as the most vulnerable to the disease. They relate the disease to misfortunes such as poverty mainly linked to the poor Blacks’ nations or unlucky people. From the course readings, this is a presentation of a stereotype. In this case, such stereotypes happen to portray the Han Chinese as immune to HIV. Nonetheless, I firmly believe that such beliefs should be challenged to improve a global concern of fighting this epidemic.

The practice of researching and presenting accurate and well-informed content to the citizens promotes the spread of the right information. Also, it allows for the fair administration of health services among those affected without fears.


-Qing Li


One thought on “Influence of Media on HIV Advocacy

  1. cascadiyeah

    Very interesting article, Qing! Although it seems like you misunderstand the possibility of media as a ‘window on the world.” As we’ve been talking about in class, the “window on the world” model is only a theory that never resists in reality.


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