The study explored how the combinations of living-with-HIV portrayals and HIV onset controllability portrayals influence HIV stigma because the two frame coexist in our communication environment. Results from an experiment with 443 college students in the United States indicated different combinations of the two frames might be helpful, ineffective, or harmful in reducing HIV stigma. The positive portrayal-low onset controllability combination might reduce HIV stigma, the negative portrayal-low onset controllability combination might be ineffective in reducing HIV stigma, and the positive portrayal-high onset controllability combination and the negative portrayal-high onset controllability combination might even increase HIV stigma. These results contextualize the effectiveness of positive portrayals of living with HIV when audiences may be exposed to multiple frames of messages about HIV stigma; they highlight the potential interactions between the two frames that may reduce the effectiveness of anti-stigma messages or may be used against the efforts to reduce HIV stigma.
- HIV onset controllability
- HIV stigma communication, portrayals of living with HIV
- competitive framing
- complementary framing