Framing AIDS in China: a comparative analysis of newspaper coverage in Yunnan and Henan Provinces

Xiaoguang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


China, which has the second largest HIV/AIDS affected population in Asia, is in the forefront of the global combat against the epidemic. Yunnan and Henan are the two provinces in the country that were affected the earliest by HIV; they remain the most seriously affected. Newspapers play an important role in the framing of epidemic and shaping public opinion. This paper compares the news coverage of HIV/AIDS in China by four popular newspapers published and distributed in Yunnan and Henan from 2001 to 2008. By examining the frames embedded in news discourse, the study aims at uncovering similarities and distinct characteristics of news coverage of the epidemic in the newspapers of the two provinces. In doing so it will explore how the social reality of HIV/AIDS in China is constructed in different provinces, identifying the factors that influence such construction. The results from the analysis revealed the following: (1) that prevention-education frame and political-socioeconomic-cultural frame are the two dominant frames across the four newspapers; (2) that dominant public discourse surrounding HIV/AIDS in China is still morality-centered; and (3) that stigmatization, prejudice and discrimination remain towards those with HIV. The results presented in this paper were from an ongoing PhD research conducted at Macquarie University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of the Humanities
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Epidemic
  • Framing
  • China
  • Provincial Newspapers
  • Henan and Yunnan Province


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