HIV/AIDS Coverage in the Daily Nation Newspaper: A Mixed Methods Content Analysis to Inform Health Promotion and HIV Prevention in Kenya

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Interdisciplinary Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Lagerwey

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Curtis

Third Advisor

Dr. Leigh Ford


HIV/AIDS, Kenya, international health, HIV prevention, health education


The purpose of this three-paper dissertation was to analyze Daily Nation newspaper coverage of HIV/AIDS from 1989-2003 to inform future health promotion and HIV prevention efforts in Kenya.

The first paper examined whether, and if so, how Daily Nation coverage of HIV/AIDS changed after the 1999 declaration by President Moi of AIDS as a national emergency. A quantitative content analysis was conducted and the variables of interest were clipping type, politics, stigma, behavior change, and geographical focus. Results showed statistically significant changes in type of item, geographical focus on Kenya, and coverage of politics after 1999. Increases in letters to the editor and items with a focus on Kenya indicate positive changes from a health promotion perspective. The substantial increase in coverage of politics raises questions about whether this increase led to reductions in other health promotion related topics such as behavior change.

The second paper compared results from a quantitative content analysis of HIV/AIDS in the Daily Nation from 1989, 1993, 1998, and 2003 with epidemiological data from Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys (KDHS) for the same years. The variables of interest were youth, abstinence, partner reduction, and condom use. Results showed coverage of sexual behaviors in the Daily Nation was low with slight variation among behaviors. Condom use was the most frequently covered behavior in the Daily Nation with DHS showing positive change in knowledge, but no behavior change. There was no pattern to suggest that newspaper coverage preceded youth sexual behavior changes or conversely, that coverage mirrored sexual behavior changes. Results pointed toward further exploration of how condoms were being discussed in the media in Kenyan.

The third paper explored how condoms were discussed and displayed in the Daily Nation from 1989-2003. Qualitative content analysis was conducted for 91 news items mentioning condoms and HIV/AIDS. Findings revealed four major frames of "controversy and confusion," "we need to do more: condoms might help," "not for Kenyans or from Kenyans," and "negative associations." Understanding of these frames provides needed insight into the socio-cultural context surrounding condoms in Kenya that is often lacking within health promotion and HIV prevention programs.


A print copy can be found in Waldo Library at call number RA 9999.2.M667 and can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

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