marshall-anexploration-2009.pdf (610.02 kB)
An exploration of the impact of celebrity on the HIV/AIDS pandemic
journal contributionposted on 2009-09-03, 00:00 authored by C Noland, David MarshallDavid Marshall, G Goodale, H Schlecht
The framework we present in this article separates into three generations the celebrity/personality involvement in the AIDS movement that has been steadily building momentum over the past 25 years. We analyze the celebrification of HIV/AIDS and the role of the media in the process. We contend the relationship between celebrity, the public and HIV/AIDS is multipurpose: celebrities maintain a positive public presence between projects while allowing themselves and their supporting fans to feel good about taking on and affecting a meaningful cause. Celebrities are vehicles and embodiments of concern that act as proxies for their various audiences. And this is their power–celebrities are embodiments of their audiences. The awareness that celebrities have brought to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has resulted in better treatment for victims and increased government support for medical research, and yet has also distracted the public’s attention from the scope of the epidemic. It is the third generation of celebrities who are refocusing efforts on worldwide prevention and a cure for HIV/AIDS.