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University of Puget Sound

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Viet Nam: National Development and Globalization

Abstract

Since the first reported case of HIV in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in the year 1990, more than 300,000 people have contracted the disease. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has made considerable progress since that time in disseminating information on HIV/AIDS to the public, utilizing various forms of media. Yet in the rudimentary stages of this national effort, a “social evils” campaign was launched by the government; an emphasis was placed on informing the public as to why individuals contract HIV/AIDS, and which negative individual behaviors, or “social evils,” influence the proliferation of the disease. As more of the population was exposed to the government’s mass media campaign to educate about HIV/AIDS, by means of television, radio, posters, and billboards, negative images of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PWHA) became permanently imprinted on the minds of a nation, and a misunderstanding of HIV/AIDS stimulated widespread fear and value driven stigmatization and discrimination of PWHA. Due to a combination of rapid globalization and the prevalence of traditional Confucian values entrenched in Vietnamese culture, it is often difficult for the younger generation to gain a more comprehensive knowledge. Because over half the population of Vietnam consists of individuals under the age of 25, it is crucial that this demographic be the principal target of awareness campaigns. Although young people in Vietnam today have a relatively high amount of knowledge about HIV/AIDS, they are becoming more sexually active and practicing unsafe sex, failing to utilize this knowledge. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam and non-profit organizations need to coordinate to foster a consistent national dialogue involving PWHA, featuring a multi-dimensional media campaign.

Disciplines

Mass Communication | Public Health Education and Promotion

 

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