Young People’s Perception of HIV/ AIDS Campaign in South-West Nigeria

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Malaysian Journal of Media Studies


Since global attention was drawn to the identification and spread of HIV/AIDS in 1983, the media has been used as the primary vehicle for both formal and informal messages on the dreaded infection. However, limited studies have explored the perception of the targeted audience on HIV/AIDS campaigns. As a result, this audience research have been used to explore the perception of young people towards HIV/AIDS messages. An in-depth interview was conducted among 31 young people who were divided into two main categories. The first category were HIV positive patients from the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State,while the second category were HIV negative students of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Uniquely, the study revealed that the majority of young people have negative perceptions on HIV messages that they were exposed to. Both categories of informants argued that campaign planners never involved them in the conceptualisation of the HIV/AIDS messages. They also complained that they were stereotyped by the portrayal of HIV/AIDS as a youth disease and in-like manner that the HIV/AIDS campaigns lack creativity and up-to-date information. Furthermore, the HIV positive informants vehemently complained about the negative stereotype that the mass media gave the general populace about the infection. Hence, this study concluded that in order for HIV/AIDS preventive communication campaign to be effective, there is an urgent need for campaign planners to improve and incorporate these negative perceptions in the concept of future HIV/AIDS campaigns in Nigeria.



HIV/AIDS, campaigns, young people, perception, mass media