HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa Not Sufficiently Covered by Local Media, Study Says
HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa is not sufficiently covered by the local media, according to a study released by the Media Monitoring Project and Gender Links in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, South Africa's Herald reports. The study, presented by MMP Director William Bird, was conducted in 11 Southern African Development Community countries and 118 media houses over a month in 2005. The study examined 37,001 news items and is an element of the Media Action Plan on HIV/AIDS and gender, which is headed by the Southern African National Editors Forum, the Herald reports. According to the study, 3% of news items focused on or mentioned HIV/AIDS, and within that, the media focused mostly on antiretroviral drugs and other medical aspects of the disease. According to Bird, HIV-positive people accounted for 4% of all journalists' sources in HIV-related stories, and officials from international organizations and government officials accounted for 42%. Prevention, mother-to-child transmission and "sexual power relations" accounted for 40% of the media's coverage of HIV and "care and support" accounted for 16%, the Herald reports. The study also finds that media coverage has improved by including fewer stereotypes about the disease and demonstrating an increased understanding of HIV/AIDS-related terminology (Sokana, Herald, 5/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.