Incarnating Stigma: Visual Images of the Body with HIV/AIDS

Nelson Varas-Díaz, José Toro-Alfonso

Abstract


HIV/AIDS has been documented as a stigmatizing condition due to its association with sickness, contagion, and bodily death. Still, further attention needs to be given to the role that the body plays in this process of stigmatization. Taking into consideration the visual dimension of the body, we examine the manner in which visual images of the body living with HIV/AIDS contribute to stigmatize those embodied in them. Through an analysis of bodily images presented in HIV/AIDS related articles published by Puerto Rico's major newspaper, we explain the manner in which they portray a stigmatized body. We examine how these images contrast with the current state of the epidemic in Puerto Rico and consequences that the messages presented by these bodily images may have on the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS. The present study is a preliminary effort stemming from a larger research project that aims to qualitatively examine the stigmatization of HIV/AIDS through multiple media outlets including television, radio, printed press, and the Internet.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs030375

Keywords


body; HIV/AIDS; stigma; visual images; media

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