Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Rob Wells

Committee Member

Linsdey Aloia

Second Committee Member

Dale Carpenter

Keywords

Africa, Feminism, HIV Stigma, Media, The New York Times, Women

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the dominant and recurring frames influencing the narrative and media portrayal of women living with HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa, a region characterized by a low socio-economic status and the highest HIV and AIDS infection rates globally. The study analyzed 238 stories published in The New York Times from 1985 to 2017. Findings of the study show that news reports frequently associate sex workers and pregnant women to coverage on HIV and AIDS therefore stigmatizing them as vectors of the disease. The newspaper stories provided adequate socioeconomic context resulting in African women being vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. This conclusion supports the feminist theory that women are politicized, categorized and victimized according to and as defined by their surroundings and that such media representation further perpetuates HIV stigma for women living with HIV and AIDS.

Keywords: HIV stigma, media, women, Africa, AIDS, feminism

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