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AIDS Behav. 2018 Nov 2. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2332-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Stigma, the Media, and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention: Observations for Enhancing Knowledge Translation and Resisting Stigma in the Canadian Context.

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University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Victoria, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.


Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective, though sometimes stigmatized, strategy for HIV prevention. With the goal of examining how PrEP stigma can be addressed, this study examined the media's handling of stigma related to PrEP by searching the Canadian Newsstream and Daily Xtra news databases for key terms related to PrEP. Overall, 101 media articles were thematically coded in triplicate; 36.3% of which included mentions of PrEP stigma. LGBT media sources were more likely than mainstream sources to have included content coded as relating to PrEP stigma (pā€‰=ā€‰0.02). In these articles, uncertainty regarding PrEP, and neo-liberal attitudes towards sexual responsibility were major factors associated with media discussion of PrEP stigma. We discuss the role that heuristics play in shaping lay readers perceptions and interpretation of PrEP media coverage and discuss methods for overcoming stigma using evidence-based communication strategies.


HIV; Knowledge translation; Media; Pre-exposure prophylaxis; Risk compensation


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