NGOs’ HIV/AIDS Discourse on Social Media and Websites: Technology Affordances and Strategic Communication Across Media Platforms

Jiawei Sophia Fu, Renwen Zhang


Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) play a pivotal role in combating HIV/AIDS. Yet research on the social construction of HIV/AIDS has investigated the discourse of the government, media, and the public but not NGOs. Drawing on the technology affordance framework, this study examines NGOs’ discourse on social media and websites in China to understand how they communicate HIV/AIDS issues. Results of semantic network analysis reveal overlapping themes about HIV/AIDS across social media and websites, including promoting public policy, public education, and social support. Additionally, NGOs leverage social media to mobilize various institutional and community health care resources and highlight their engagement with the government. This study underscores the pivotal role of NGOs in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and destigmatization. It also advances the technology affordance literature by shedding light on the convergent yet distinct affordances of different digital media for strategic health communication and the constraints of the sociopolitical context on organizations’ communicative practices.


affordances, HIV/AIDS, nongovernmental organization (NGO), semantic network analysis, information and communication technologies (ICTs), health communication, discourse, social media, China

Full Text: