AIDS Represented Within the Media

Emily MacIsaac


This paper is about the media portrayal of HIV/AIDS within America primarily during the first two decades of the epidemic. This paper will outline different types of media and how they portrayed those affected with this illness. The news mainly indicated that those who were gay, intravenous drug-users, or haemophiliacs were the key demographic to contract HIV/AIDS. Many began to feel invincible to HIV/AIDS because the media was highlighting specific demographics of people. The Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) statistics indicate that gay men were not the ‘high risk’ population, but young African and Hispanic adults were at highest risk. The purpose of this paper is to indicate that the media swayed public opinion, as seen in Kathleen Farrell’s study, which spread misconceptions about how this illness was contracted, transmitted, and how HIV positive individuals led their lives.


Epidemology, America, Illness, HIV/AIDS

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