HIV/AIDS, Health and the Media in China: Imagined Immunity Through Racialized Disease (Hardback) book cover

HIV/AIDS, Health and the Media in China

Imagined Immunity Through Racialized Disease

By Johanna Hood

© 2011 – Routledge

256 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415860734
pub: 2013-05-08
Hardback: 9780415471985
pub: 2011-02-01
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pub: 2011-01-25
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About the Book

Approximately 90% of urban HIV/AIDS education in China occurs indirectly through non-specialist media reports. Many of these reports use images of extreme suffering and poverty to communicate an understanding of who gets HIV, why and how. This book explores an important aspect of how HIV/AIDS is communicated in China’s print media, posters, websites and television, suggesting that its association with Africa and Africans – portrayed as a distant and backward land and people – has impacted understandings of HIV/AIDS. It demonstrates how, in China’s media, Africans are frequently used to embody the most extreme possibilities of poverty and disease, in contrast with the progressive, scientifically sophisticated Han Chinese, which has encouraged the urban public to develop 'imagined immunity' to HIV.

By illustrating how HIV/AIDS is portrayed as a non-Han and racialized disease affecting specific bodies, races and places, the author argues that this discourse has had the effect of distancing many Chinese from the perceived possibility of infection, thus compromising the effectiveness of public health campaigns on HIV/AIDS. The book suggests that the key to combating the spread of HIV/AIDS lies in challenging the ways in which the disease is portrayed in China’s media, rather than simply by continuing with the current strategy to educate more people.

Table of Contents

1. At the Intersections of HIV/AIDS: Power, Disease, Others, and China’s Media 2. China’s Media: Telling and Knowing HIV/AIDS 3. Differentiating Understandings: hei Black and Blackness, Race, and Place 4. Hei: Africa, Africans and HIV/AIDS 5. Yuanshi: Presenting the Origin and Primitive Circumstances of HIV/AIDS in Africa 6. Kexue: Scientism and HIV/AIDS

About the Author

Johanna Hood is a member of the China Research Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

  • Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
  • Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Peter Horsfield, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Chris Hudson, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • K.P. Jayasankar, Unit for Media and Communications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay
  • Michael Keane, Queensland University of Technology
  • Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Vera Mackie, University of Melbourne
  • Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales
  • Jane Mills, University of New South Wales
  • Anjali Monteiro, Unit for Media and Communications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay
  • Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
  • Ming-yeh Rawnsley, University of Leeds
  • Jo Tacchi, RMIT University, Mlebourne
  • Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
  • Jing Wang, MIT
  • Ying Zhu, City University of New York

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies