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What Sri Lankan Newspapers publish on Sexual Health? A content analysis

Authors:

P.A.D.M.P. Perera ,

Registrar in Venereology, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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D.L.D.C. Liyanage,

Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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W.S. Pannala,

Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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L.P.P. Godakandaarachchi,

Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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K.A.M. Ariyaratne

Consultant Venereologist and coordinator strategic information management, National STD/AIDS Control Programme, No 29, De Saram Place, Colombo 10, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Sexual health is a taboo subject in the conservative Sri Lankan society. The reported number of HIV cases has doubled during last 6 years. With the high literacy rate, newspapers could be utilized as an effective media for sexual health promotion. Objective of this study is to analyse the quantity and content of sexual health related material published in newspapers.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study carried out using all available Sinhalese and English newspapers in the Public Library, Colombo within a randomly selected month in the year 2015. Newspapers were scrutinized to identify sexual health related articles and advertisements. Data collected using pre-tested checklists, independently by two researches. Data was analyzed using SPSS.

Results: Among a total of 236 newspapers, 210 articles and advertisements were on sexual health. Majority (60%) were advertisements which appeared more in weekly Sinhala newspapers. Out of all advertisements 71% were on treatment services for sexual dysfunctions. 90% of advertisements did not indicate a service provider. None were on condoms. Nearly 50% of 85 detailed articles were related to risk populations, out of that 69% mentioned stigma/ discrimination. Only 1/3 of articles directly mentioned STI, HIV or both. Two articles mentioned condoms as a preventive method and another 4 had details on linked to care.

Conclusions: There were many advertisements related to sexual health and most of them were advertising treatment services for sexual dysfunctions. Significant percentage of advertisements lacked details of the service provider. Very few articles addressed STD/HIV in-depth and they also markedly lacked information on condoms, link to care services including NSACP. The bulk of the analyzed articles were on at risk populations with mentioning of stigma/discrimination.

Sri Lanka Journal of Sexual Health and HIV Medicine Vol.1 2015: 12-17

How to Cite: Perera, P.A.D.M.P. et al., (2016). What Sri Lankan Newspapers publish on Sexual Health? A content analysis. Sri Lanka Journal of Sexual Health and HIV Medicine. 1, pp.12–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/joshhm.v1i0.9
Published on 17 Feb 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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