SOUTH AFRICA: Activist Promotes TV Series On Living With HIV
South African AIDS activist Mercy Makhalemele is presenting a new television series designed to help HIV-positive people cope with the disease, Health-e News Service reports. "Beat It," a 13-part series, will discuss HIV treatment, sexuality, nutrition, traditional healing, and HIV-positive children's care. Each show will profile a person who lives with the virus "to encourage communities to accept those with the disease are people just like them." Makhalemele, who had little knowledge of the disease when she tested positive for HIV in 1993, said the series will also try to address "taboos" that currently inform many South Africans' views of AIDS. "People with HIV never talk about sex. There are a lot of women and men living with HIV who haven't had sex for years. It's because they're HIV-positive but also because of the anger," she said, adding, "But sex is your right. Carry on having sex but be responsible." Makhalemele thinks that "living healthily with HIV is only possible if a person has knowledge." By aiming "Beat It" at those who already have the disease, she hopes to fill a void left by other South African media outlets which have a greater focus on prevention efforts (Stein, Health-e News Service, 9/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.