Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-9971
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9994
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Although the level of awareness of HIV has significantly improved over the past decade following the coordinated activities of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Nigeria still remains one of the most burdened countries in the world with about 3 million people living with HIV. Increasing enlightenment campaigns on HIV and AIDS have not been able to achieve remarkable behaviour change as a result of the non-use of appropriate nomenclatures. Given the low literacy rate of Nigerians in English (about 61% based on UNESCO Institute for Statistics), communication strategies can only be effective when indigenous Nigerian languages have standardised and appropriate nomenclatures for HIV and AIDS. This study argues that the use of appropriate terms in the local languages in referring to HIV and AIDS is capable of reducing the stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS, and consequently reduce the spread of HIV through behaviour change. Accordingly, the study embarks on the lexical modernisation of HIV and AIDS nomenclatures in Nigeria’s three major languages (i.e. Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) in line with current developments around the world in the management of the two health conditions.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anthonissen, C. , and B. Meyer
    2008 “Question-answer Sequences between Doctors and Patients in a South African HIV/AIDS Clinic.” Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics PLUS36: 1–34.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Beck, R. M.
    2016 “Tusidanganyane – Let’s not Fool Ourselves: Knowledge Production and HIV Prevention in Nairobi (Kenya).” Sociolinguistic Studies10 (1/2): 15–44. doi: 10.1558/sols.v10i1‑2.27793
    https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v10i1-2.27793 [Google Scholar]
  3. Berger, B. E. , C. E. Ferrrans , and F. R. Lashley
    2001 “Measuring Stigma in People with HIV: Psychometric Assessment of the HIV Stigma Scale.” Research in Nursing and Health24: 518–529. doi: 10.1002/nur.10011
    https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.10011 [Google Scholar]
  4. Eggly, S.
    2002 “Physician-Patient Co-construction of Illness Narratives in the Medical Interview.” Health Communication14 (3): 339–360. doi: 10.1207/S15327027HC1403_3
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327027HC1403_3 [Google Scholar]
  5. Heugh, K.
    2013 “Navigating Contested Space, Time, and Position: Ethnographic Research in Bilingual and Trilingual Education Systems of Ethiopia.” InBilingual Education and Language Policy in the Global South, ed. by A. Shoba and F. Chimbutane , 104–123. New York and London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Higgins, C. , and B. Norton
    (eds.) 2010Language and HIV/AIDS. Bristol/Buffalo/Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Horne, F.
    2004 “Some Aspects of AIDS-Related Discourse in Post-Apartheid South African Culture.” Alternation11 (2): 401–419.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Igboanusi, H. , C. Odoje , and G. Ibrahim
    2016 “Ebola-Associated Terms in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.” Journal of West African Languages43(2): 1–16.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Jegede, A. S.
    1998African Culture and Health. Ibadan: Stirling-Horden Publishers Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Kolawole, C. O. O.
    2006 “HIV/AIDS and Indigenous Languages in Nigeria.” InGlobalisation and the Future of African Languages, ed. by F. Egbokhare and C. Kolawole , 269–281. Ibadan: Ibadan Cultural Studies Group.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Komolafe, O. E.
    2010 “Linguistic Representations of HIV/AIDS: The Yoruba Example.” African Nebua2: 153–164.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Moqasa, N. A ., A. Salawu
    2013 “An Examination of the Use of Selected South African Newspapers for Reporting HIV/ AIDS.” Journal of Communication4 (2): 143–152. doi: 10.1080/0976691X.2013.11884817
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0976691X.2013.11884817 [Google Scholar]
  13. Moto, F.
    2004 “Towards a Study of the Lexicon of Sex and HIV/AIDS.” Nordic Journal of African Studies13 (3): 343–362.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. NACA
    2009National Policy on HIV/AIDS. Abuja.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Nwanwene, T. A.
    2008 “Functions of Communication in the Prevention and Management of HIV/AIDS.” InHealth Communication, Gender Violence and ICTs in Nigeria, ed. by E. M. Mojaye , O. O. Oyewo , R. M’Bayo , and I. A. Sobowale , 97–107. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. O’Brien, M. , and J. Shea
    2011 “Disparities in Patient Satisfaction Among Hispanics: The Role of Language Preference.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health13: 408–412. doi: 10.1007/s10903‑009‑9275‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-009-9275-2 [Google Scholar]
  17. Ogechi, N. O.
    2005 “The Language of Sex and HIV/AIDS Among University Students in Kenya. Stichprobem.” Wiener Zeitschrift fur Kritische Afrikastudien9 (5): 123–149.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Ogunbodede, E. O.
    2004 “HIV/AIDS Situation in Africa.” International Dental Journal54: 352–360. doi: 10.1111/j.1875‑595X.2004.tb00011.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1875-595X.2004.tb00011.x [Google Scholar]
  19. Oluwabamide, A. J . & Jegede, S. A
    2008 Speaking HIV/AIDS out of Nigeria: the role of indigenous languages. The International Journal of Language, Society and Culture26: 106–112.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Oostendorp, M.
    2012 “Emotions and HIV/AIDS in South Africa: A Multilingual Perspective.” Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics PLUS41: 77–89.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Paternotte, E. , S. van der Dulmen , A. J. J. A. Scherpbier , and F. Scheele
    2015 “Factors Influencing Intercultural Doctor-Patient Communication: A Realistic Review.” Patient Education and Counseling98 (4): 420–445. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.11.018
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2014.11.018 [Google Scholar]
  22. Reddy, S.
    2004 “Safe Sex or Safe Love? Competing Discourse within the Context of HIV/AIDS.” Alternation11 (2): 440–453.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Saal, E.
    2011 “The Effect of Teenage Language in Health Communication: A Study Among English and Sepedi Teenagers.” Language Matters41 (1): 245–272. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics PLUS36: 1–34.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Saha, S. , and A. Fernandez
    2007 “Language Barriers in Healthcare.” Journal of General Internal Medicine22: 281–282. doi: 10.1007/s11606‑007‑0373‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-007-0373-3 [Google Scholar]
  25. Schensul, S. L. , J. J. Schensul , and M. D. LeCompte
    1999Essential Ethnographic Methods: Observations, Interviews, and Questionnaires. Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Towle, A.
    2006 “Doctor-Patient Communications in the Aboriginal Communities: Towards the Development of Educational Programs.” Patient Education and Counseling63 (3): 340–346. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2006.06.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2006.06.006 [Google Scholar]
  27. Udoakah, N. , and N. S. Iwokwagh
    2008 “Promoting HIV/AIDS Prevention Among Adolescents in Nigeria through Communication: A Pragmatic Approach.” InHealth communication, Gender Violence and ICTs in Nigeria, ed. by E. M. Mojaye , O. O. Oyewo , R. M’Bayo , and I. A. Sobowale , 109–129. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. UNESCO
    2006UNESCO Guidelines on Language and Content in HIV- and AIDS-Related Materials. Paris: UNESCO.unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001447/144725e.pdf. Accessed14 October 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. West, C.
    1984Routine Complications: Troubles in Talk Between Doctors and Patients. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error