NGOs' HIV/AIDS discourse on social media and websites: Technology affordances and strategic communication across media platforms

Jiawei Sophia Fu, Renwen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) play a pivotal role in combating HIV/AIDS. Yet research on the social construction of HIV/AIDS has investigated the discourse of the government, media, and the public but not NGOs. Drawing on the technology affordance framework, this study examines NGOs' discourse on social media and websites in China to understand how they communicate HIV/AIDS issues. Results of semantic network analysis reveal overlapping themes about HIV/AIDS across social media and websites, including promoting public policy, public education, and social support. Additionally, NGOs leverage social media to mobilize various institutional and community health care resources and highlight their engagement with the government. This study underscores the pivotal role of NGOs in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and destigmatization. It also advances the technology affordance literature by shedding light on the convergent yet distinct affordances of different digital media for strategic health communication and the constraints of the sociopolitical context on organizations' communicative practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-205
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume13
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

Keywords

  • Affordances
  • China
  • Discourse
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Health communication
  • Information and communication technologies (ICTs)
  • Nongovernmental organization (NGO)
  • Semantic network analysis
  • Social media

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