The study reported here explored the HIV/AIDS-related lexicon in two mainstream Arabic dailies in Jordan over a period of 21 years. Throughout the time period, the most frequently used term to refer to HIV/AIDS was al-eidz, the Arabicized acronym for 'AIDS'. Both Jordanian and Western media tended to emphasize the role of religion and social values in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The data also showed a significant attitudinal shift, over time, towards HIV/AIDS. This was evident in the gradual disappearance of the negative attributes, e.g. ‘plague of our time’, which were used intensively in the earlier stages to describe HIV/AIDS and people living with it. It was also clear in the slogans used to mobilize the public and other stakeholders to act against the disease. Finally, the study suggested that future research examine the portrayal of HIV/AIDS in the lexicon of tabloids and broadcast and electronic media.
Jihad M. Hamdan