The role of mass media in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which media plays a major role in the fight against AIDS. Specifically, the study investigated the type of health information programs provided by the media and the extent to which the media provide information about the sources of HIV/AIDS support and counseling. The objectives of the study were to examine the role of the media, to identify barriers that hinder the media to access and disseminate HIV/AIDS information and to determine how the media can be more effective in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A descriptive survey method was employed in data collection. There were four population categories namely media institutions, journalists, and editors and media customers. Research instruments such as questionnaires, interview and observation were used to collect data from the field. Thereafter data were interpreted by using cross tabulation. The findings revealed that most health information programs provided by the media were on water borne STDs and HIV/AIDS diseases. The findings also revealed that the media often provide information about sources of support and counseling. In addition the major roles played by the media are education and information provision. While obstacles to effective accessing and dissemination of HIV/AIDS information include; government bureaucracy, reluctance of some people to provide information, cultural taboos, and government control. The study concludes that the mass media can play a very important role in the fight against HIV/AIDS if journalists are trained in strategies to disseminate HIV/AIDS in the African environment and report HIV/AIDS information in a professional manner. It recommends the removal of barriers to effective dissemination of information that include; government control, cultural taboo, bureaucracy in government circles and reluctance of some people to discuss HIV/AIDS issues.
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Aids (Disease), Prevention, Tanzania, Mass media, Influence, Audiences
Nyoni, A. N. (2001) The role of mass media in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (