Event Title

Media Coverage of the US HIV/AIDS Epidemic's Blood Bank Controversy

Presenter Information

Anna Dardick, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A254

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-26-2013 4:00 PM

End Date

4-26-2013 5:00 PM

Abstract

Media portrayals of emerging diseases reflect contemporary prejudices, sway public opinion and, in turn, have the power to shape history. My research focuses on the controversy concerning HIV-infected blood in American blood banks from 1982 through 1985. My analysis of articles from national news sources and queer media illuminates stark differences in the interpretations of scientific research. Most popular media representations of HIV/AIDS paradoxically interpret science as objective truth and perpetuate unsubstantiated claims about risk and transmission. U.S. media coverage must be viewed within its capitalist environment—fear sells, and the accuracy of scientific information suffers as a result.

Notes

Session III, Panel 13: The Powers (and Limits) of Persuasion: Case Studies in Liberation, Representation, and Privatization
Moderator: Michael Parkin, Associate Professor of Politics

Major

Biology; Latin Language and Literature

Advisor(s)

Yolanda Cruz, Biology
Kirk Ormand, Classics

Project Mentor(s)

Adam Haberman, Biology

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Apr 26th, 4:00 PM Apr 26th, 5:00 PM

Media Coverage of the US HIV/AIDS Epidemic's Blood Bank Controversy

Science Center, A254

Media portrayals of emerging diseases reflect contemporary prejudices, sway public opinion and, in turn, have the power to shape history. My research focuses on the controversy concerning HIV-infected blood in American blood banks from 1982 through 1985. My analysis of articles from national news sources and queer media illuminates stark differences in the interpretations of scientific research. Most popular media representations of HIV/AIDS paradoxically interpret science as objective truth and perpetuate unsubstantiated claims about risk and transmission. U.S. media coverage must be viewed within its capitalist environment—fear sells, and the accuracy of scientific information suffers as a result.