The response of the Italian press to AIDS: A 22-month analysis

M. S. Aloisi, E. Girardi, G. Ippolito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study analyses the way in which the Italian press reported Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) over a 22-month period from September 1993 to June 1995, when no national AIDS information campaigns were made in Italy. During this period we collected, read, and categorized every article relating to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS in fourteen newspapers and two news magazines with the highest national circulation. Articles were then assigned to one of six content categories: statistics, basic science, cure and vaccine, education/awareness and prevention issue, government or non-goverment organizations response, and people with AIDS (PWA) personal portrayals. A total of 4,228 articles referring to HIV/AIDS were identified. Analysis of the featured topics reveals several clear differences in the coverage of aspects of AIDS. The major category was represented by government or non-goverment organization response which accounted for 1,341 articles. Overall, this analysis suggests that, even long after the beginning of the epidemic, the press continues to see AIDS as an important issue. However, the articles explaining scientifically the AIDS epidemic were very few. The majority of AIDS-related information was spread in consequence of sensational events. Further analysis of PWA coverage shows that most articles discussed news that could provoke a negative feeling towards HIV-infected patients among the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-342
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Volume15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • Newspapers
  • Prevention campaigns
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physiology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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