HIV stigma in UK press reporting of a case of intentional HIV transmission

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519 and Nerlich, B., 2020. HIV stigma in UK press reporting of a case of intentional HIV transmission. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. ISSN 1363-4593

[img]
Preview
Text
1353299_Jaspal.pdf - Published version

Download (166kB) | Preview

Abstract

The UK has set itself the ambitious target of zero new HIV transmissions by 2030. HIV stigma is a significant barrier to achieving this target. Media reporting plays an important role in shaping social representations of HIV and of stigma. Between 2016 and 2018, the media in the UK reported on the Daryll Rowe case – the first criminal prosecution for intentional transmission of HIV in the UK. This article examines the way that UK newspapers reported this case, which may have exacerbated HIV stigma. Using Nexis, 178 UK newspaper articles were extracted and subjected to qualitative thematic analysis through a social constructionist lens. Informed by social representations theory, the analysis yielded three discursive themes: (1) Representing the perpetrator through HIV-focussed metaphors; (2) Constructing volitional ambiguity; and (3) Anchoring the lived experience of HIV to misery and death. UK newspapers constructed an ‘evil vs victimhood’ dichotomy in relation to Rowe and the men infected with HIV, respectively. This article argues that news coverage of the Rowe story constructs HIV in ways that are inconsistent with public health messaging. Reporting failed to note innovations in HIV treatment and prevention but instead disseminated stigmatising social representations of HIV. This is important because stigma impedes effective HIV prevention, engagement with HIV care and ultimately our ability to achieve the zero-infections target.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine
Creators: Jaspal, R. and Nerlich, B.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 8 August 2020
ISSN: 1363-4593
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/1363459320949901DOI
1353299Other
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 17 Aug 2020 13:35
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2020 13:35
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40462

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year