Positive portrayals of ‘living with HIV’ to reduce HIV stigma: do they work in reality?

Ming Lei, Chunbo Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study explored how the combinations of living-with-HIV<br>portrayals and HIV onset controllability portrayals influence HIV<br>stigma because the two frame coexist in our communication<br>environment. Results from an experiment with 443 college<br>students in the United States indicated different combinations of<br>the two frames might be helpful, ineffective, or harmful in<br>reducing HIV stigma. The positive portrayal-low onset<br>controllability combination might reduce HIV stigma, the negative<br>portrayal-low onset controllability combination might be<br>ineffective in reducing HIV stigma, and the positive portrayal-high<br>onset controllability combination and the negative portrayal-high<br>onset controllability combination might even increase HIV stigma.<br>These results contextualize the effectiveness of positive portrayals<br>of living with HIV when audiences may be exposed to multiple<br>frames of messages about HIV stigma; they highlight the potential<br>interactions between the two frames that may reduce the<br>effectiveness of anti-stigma messages or may be used against the<br>efforts to reduce HIV stigma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-514
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2020


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