AIDS and Investigative journalism
It is a defining attribute of democracy that people
should not merely have voice on how but they must and should
be able to exert influence on the public process in which they
deserve the best information on HIV/AIDS epidemic, they must
be aware of developments, findings and research not only at
home, but to have regular flow of information from abroad and
be able to present the nature of its problems to the officials
that will deal with them. Being the principle purveyor of the
essential information, the press should serve as a
representative of the people, critic of the governments,
informer of the public, power distributor, moral guardian,
myth maker, barometer of order and constructor of nation and
Various organizations in Africa have launched different
programmes and projects to combat HIV/AIDS. However, Media
seems to be failing in this quest primarily due to the fact
that coverage of the issue is not culturally sensitive.
Knowledge on HIV/AIDS as a bio-medical condition, a
socio-economic and demographic condition, Gender, cultural,
human rights and legal issue have yet to be dealt with
Although the power of information and effectiveness of
communications have been recognized, few studies that have
been carried out in east Africa addressing the effectiveness
of media in reporting HIV/AIDS. In Kenya, a study carried out
from January 1997 to June 1998 showed that 99 stories in 340
newspaper editions were HIV/AIDS related. If the number of
people affected by HIV/AIDS in this country is taken into
consideration, one of the possible explanations for such low
coverage could be the inability of editors and reporters to
properly address HIV/AIDS and its impact on society.
In Uganda, media also gave little coverage to HIV/AIDS
issues. Most of the reports were given through NGO’s and UN
agencies. Reporters initiated few articles. The most frequent
subjects were prevention, prevalence and awareness of HIV/AIDS
with of blame being directed towards life style or sex
In other sub-Saharan countries no media research has
been done. The conclusion one draws is that media coverage on
HIV/AIDS in most of these countries did not contribute
profoundly in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The gains in Uganda are welcomed, but there is need for
greater media mobilization on a regional level for combating
HIV/AIDS and helping society to make free sensible choices and
decisions. It is important to mention that some countries like
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi have faced been in
conflict and suffered badly, damaged infrastructure. There has
been chronic drought in some of the countries in the
sub-Saharan region and recurrent famine. Taking into account
these factors and the large number of people affected by
HIV/AIDS, we may conclude that apart from aids Alternative Treatments which
have been necessary for the survival of the majority of the
population in many countries, mass media must and have an
obligation to encourage communities in all these countries to
further efforts towards rebuilding their countries and
fighting against HIV/AIDS.
Social, Economic, Demographic, Impact
The social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS is
devastating and affects the individuals, communities, firms,
governments and countries. It affects the health status of
society, health related expenditures at household, firms and
governmental level. It lowers the productivity and growth
performance of countries, as well as reversing the gains made
in human development and progress in the social sector.
Africa faces more daunting economic challenges relative
to other regions of the world. It is the only region with
population growth rate of about 3% per annum.
it therefore requires gross domestic
product (GDP) growth in excess of 3% in order to cope with
problems of unemployment and poverty reduction. It is
estimated that sub-Saharan African countries would require a
real GDP growth rate of 6% in order to achieve targets of
World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) on poverty
reduction and to be able to increase access to basic social
The rapid increase in urbanization also leads to
pressure for services in the urban areas. Increase
in urban population brings with it a current increase in the
number of urban poor characterized by an expansion of
unplanned settlements, income inequality, increased child and
infant mortality as well as reduced life expectancy. Comparing
Africa’s income and purchasing power parity (PPP) with other
countries, the indicators are showing that Africa is the
poorest region in the world, characterized by high-income
inequalities, uneven access to productive resources and basic
social services. Many people live below the international
poverty line of US$ 1 a day as a result of low income.
Incremental Capital Output Ratio (ICOR) was the lowest
compared to other regions. This is a pointer to low returns to
investments whether public or private, characterized by, a
huge portfolio of uncompleted projects or excess capacities
that prevail in industries. These statistics show the major
challenges Africa, and indeed sub-Saharan Africa faces in the
These figures points to the greater challenge that
countries in sub-Saharan Africa have to deal with even as they
make efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These constrain
greatly diminish the capacity of countries to effectively
respond to an epidemic that threatens to wipe an entire
generation in some countries in the region.
An increase in poverty and literacy, lack of
opportunities, erosion of social values and family life act as
catalysts to high risk sexual behavior and loss of moral. The
wide range of factors like absence of income, economic
hardship, loss of appeal of agriculture as a profession,
increase of school drop outs, alcohol and drug abuse, war and
instability have contributed to a high risk environment for
HIV/AIDS affected population.
Though, the youth and women are among the most
vulnerable group to HIV/AIDS, they are the best agents for
behavior change. The early sexual activity at young age,
multiple partners and restricted access to information
classifies this group including young men, as the most exposed
to the infection. The less people know about the disease, the
more negative they tend to be about HIV/AIDS infected
families. It is interesting that individuals tend to blame
their partners for transmitting HIV but not themselves for
engaging in high-risk sexual behavior. Generally speaking,
young children are better informed; in particular boys. In
rural areas girls tend to drop out from school at an early
stage. Out of school young men are better informed than young
women and again old women are better informed than young
To reduce HIV we should involve the youth itself in the
generation of appropriate messages. We should also address
socio-economic norms, cultural norms, sexually transmitted
diseases, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, bar and disco culture,
ritual cleansing, wife inheritance, etc.
A Cultural Approach to HIV/AIDS
It is widely recognized that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is
not only a sector based medical problem but a multifaceted
issue which requires multidimensional strategies. The modern
type information/education/communication, promotion of condom
use will not achieve the expected results if the question is
limited to medical considerations and its solution to
pharmaceutical means. It is, indeed a complex socio-economic,
societal and cultural phenomenon to be considered in the
perspective of sustainable human development. This is why
prevention and treatment of the epidemic requires a cultural
approach to be taken to face the issue in all its aspects.
In order to bring about changes in cultural references
and behavioral norms liable to making more difficult risk
reduction, two pre-requisites have to be met: First, every
action should pay due attention to mentalities, traditions,
beliefs and value systems, for ethical and practical reasons,
in order to overcome obstacles which might arise in the
process of HIV/AIDS prevention treatment, and second, the
societal and cultural resources of the populations, including
knowledge, know-how, modes of economic and social organization
and their creativity, self-confidence and willingness to solve
their problems should always be mobilized in prevention and
Based on the established fact that culture is the basis
and core of any economic and social transformation, providing
sustainable and human development is really the objective. It
is now well known thanks to the World Decade for Cultural
Development and the World Commission report on Culture and
Development that the interactions between these two realities
are the basis for any valuable work in both fields. This is
why a cultural approach should be taken in all development
strategies, programs and projects, whether comprehensive or
As regards HIV/Aids prevention and care, taking a
cultural approach means that any population’s cultural
references and resources (ways of life, value systems,
traditions and beliefs and the fundamental right of persons)
will be considered as key references in building a framework
for strategy policies and project planning, but also as
resources and basis for building relevant and sustainable
actions. This is an indispensable condition for reaching
in-depth and long term changes in people’s behaviors and
giving full consistency to medical and sanitary strategies and
On these basis the aim of this project is to:
1.- Improve the understanding of the
interaction between culture, the evolution of the AIDS crisis
and development issues.
2.- Identify cultural factors and
resources, which play an important role in the expansion of
HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
3.- Assess the role of these factors
and resources in securing the relevance and efficiency of
actions carried out in the field of prevention and care and
the institutional cultures of the organizations involved.
4.- Identify specific needs of
disadvantaged risk groups (women, commercial sex workers,
youth, children, the poor, minorities, refugees) and methods
of addressing their problems with a cultural approach.
and analyze selected
cases, in which the recognition of these factors positively
affects the results of different strategies and programs
and the conditions for adapting successful initiatives
to other contexts (replicability) and identification of
priority issues for future strategies and research.
Increased Level of Understanding of HIV/AIDS among the media of Legal
HIV/AIDS has given rise to numerous legal and ethical
issues, which must be addressed together with other multi-sectorial
issues brought into focus by the epidemic.
These issues have a direct bearing on the prevention
measures as well as management care and support of those
infected and affected by the epidemic.
For this reason the media itself must identify the key
legal issues, become conversant with them and to disseminate
them. Thus equipped, the journalists will become effective
must be able to write about public health legislation,
criminal laws and correctional systems, anti-discrimination
and protective laws, laws relating to regulation of goods,
services and information, women, children and other vulnerable
groups, human rights and a host of other legal and ethical
issues brought about by HIV/AIDS in its wake.
In the sub-region under review the following legal and
ethical issues were identified as cutting across the entire
at the workplace:
Discrimination at the work place is rampant.
Mandatory pre-employment testing and involuntary
routine medical tests for HIV in the course of employment
Breaches of confidentiality of HIV test results by
employers are commonplace.
Access to drugs and medical treatment of employees is
on HIV/AIDS test results:
following breaches of confidentiality were identified:
In the medical practice scenario where medical
practitioners face many ethical dilemmas.
In the context of the family where partner notification
In medical records in hospitals where existing systems.
In employment where employers demand to know the HIV
status of their employees at the pain of denied them
employment if such results are not given.
In premarital cases where marriage celebrants demand
HIV test results before solemnizing the marriage.
In educational institutions where such institutions
seek to know a student’s sero-status as a condition
precedent to admission.
In insurance practice where mortgage protection
policies are usually given only after a favourable medical
Discrimination and Stigmatisation
has recorded the following areas of discrimination:
In employment situations.
In restrictions to travel.
In demand of housing and other social benefits.
Isolation of individuals or grounds of their HIV-sero-status.
In educational institutions.
especially difficult circumstances/vulnerable groups:
the region need to:
Refugees and other people in confinement.
HIV/AIDS in prison.
HIV/AIDS in the context of women and children.
Human rights abuse:
There is ample
evidence of human rights abuse against these rights
The right to work.
The right to marry and found a family.
The right to privacy,
The right to life.
The right to liberty and security of the house.
The right to social security, assistance and welfare.
The right to education.
entire sub-region has a sad story of improper research
Unethical research involving human subjects.
Misleading information and false claims for alleged
cures for AIDS.
Unauthorised research carried out without research
protocols and against the established principles in the
Unethical vaccine trials.
in the family:
Issues arising from HIV/AIDS in the
Protection of women in unequal socio-economic
bargaining positions with their spouses.
Transmission of HIV from mother to child.
Partner-notification of HIV results.
Discrimination against widows and orphans with regard
to property of deceased husbands and parents.
Reproductive rights of women.
sub-region these cultural issues arose:
The risk of HIV infection in polygamous marriages.
Early marriages and the legal protection of the
The practice of “wife-inheritance” vis-à-vis human
criminal law and HIV/AIDS
questions frequently arise:
Is there need for legislation against “deliberate”
Is abortion useful as control mechanism against the
spread of HIV infection?
What about euthanasia?
Gender and HIV/AIDS
Gender can be defined as the opportunities, roles,
responsibilities and personal identities that a particular
society prescribes as proper for men and women, influenced by
determinants such as race, culture, community, time,
ethnicity, occupation, age and level of education.
Women’s sexual problems are not individual but
social, not biological but ideological, not a problem related
to health or illness but to politics.
Years of struggle for women’s rights opened up new
areas of participation for women in the fields of education,
economic, politics in develop countries but still very little
has changed in developing countries in these fields and almost
nothing at the sexual level due to untouchable traditional
roles. The lack of sexual freedom makes women unequal and
pitifully dependent on men. In most societies, gender
determines how and what men and women are expected to know
about sexual matters, including behaviours, pregnancy and
STD’s. Policies and programme to promote greater equality
between men and women are considered crucial to the HIV
prevention. Despite this recognition, most programmes continue
to work solely with women in attempt to empower them in sexual
Women’s subordinate position within the homes is
deeply entrenched in traditional, legal, religious and social
structures. Economic discrimination limits the opportunities
for women to gain financial independence from their partners.
These inequalities have been intensified by the current
economic difficulties facing many sub-Saharan countries and
increasing the burden that HIV/AIDS is placing on communities
and families. In many sub-Saharan countries role of men and
women are clearly defined.
The imbalance in power between men and women is
responsible for much of the luck of safety in sexual
relationship. The gender role of women affects marriages,
non-marital relationship and commercial sex as well. Rape,
sexual abuse, sexual assault, forced prostitution and other
violence against women and children, including in marriage and
families, occur in all countries and social settings. Gender
roles have significant influence on the course and impact of
the HIV/AIDS epidemic: gender role definition influences the
ways men and women are vulnerable to HIV transmission and
mediate the impact of living with HIV/AIDS. Unequal gender
relations can be seen in many ways but are particularly
visible in the vulnerability of women to HIV/AIDS in
developing countries and in men’s risk taking behaviours.
Although women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS is partly
determined by physiological, economical, social and sexual
factors, the central issue is inequality of women to men.
Male sexual needs are acknowledged to a greater extent
than female needs. Many cultures use words to describe male
sexuality in a positive way and female sexuality in a more
negative and judgemental way. Many women and men define sex
largely according to what they believe gives men pleasure.
Often women do not explore, let alone assert their own
preferences because this is considered inappropriate. The
dominance of male needs and denial of female needs impedes
open discussion between the sexes and limits people’s
chances of achieving mutually satisfying, respectful and safe
forms of sexual behaviour. Demand for sexual services is
fuelled by cultural attitudes condoning or even encouraging
male sexual freedom while repressing female sexuality.
Role of the United Nations
The global HIV/AIDS epidemic is an unprecedented
development crisis, no longer confined to certain groups or to
particular regions. In most of the world it has become a
mainstream concern-affecting individuals of all age groups and
all social-economic backgrounds. The impact on economic
development is becoming increasingly apparent in virtually
every social sector, especially in the most seriously affected
countries. The response to HIV/AIDS must likewise draw upon
HIV/AIDS is increasingly discussed in high-level
international fora on economic, health, security, labour and
social issues. Some examples include UN Security Council; the
annual meeting of the World Bank Development Committee, the
World Health Assembly; the International Labour Conference;
and regional Summits, such as those of the organization of
African Unit and the Association of South-East Asian Nations.
In the G8 communiqué “Okinawa 2000”, adopted by
the summit, infectious diseases were raised as an important
theme and various quantitative targets were set for the coming
years. As a result, a new partnership between G8
countries, governments of developing countries, international
organizations and civil society is being established to tackle
this issue, which is becoming a serious obstacle to social and
economical development in developing countries.
Recognizing the importance of a multi-dimensional
effort to fight HIV/AIDS, through 1994 resolution of the
United Nations economic and Social Council, the Joint United
Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) was launched in January
1996. The Programme, comprising a Secretariat and seven UN
system organizations (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNDCP, UNESCO, WHO
and the World Bank) seeks to lead, strengthen and support an
expanded response to the epidemic in order to prevent the
spread of HIV, provide care and support for those infected and
alleviate the social-economic and human impact of the
epidemic. The seven Cosponsoring Organizations offer countries
a broad range of experience, efforts and resources of
relevance to the fight against the epidemic. Cooperation
agreements have also been signed between the UNAIDS
Secretariat and other UN and non-UN bodies to intensify
collaborative efforts in other areas of expertise.
The mandate of each of the co-sponsoring organizations:
Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) is
entrusted with exclusive responsibility for coordinating and
providing effective leadership for all United Nations drug
control activities. In this context, UNDCP is active in
supporting HIV/AIDS prevention programme to reduce the demand
for illicit drugs. Its primary focus is on the youth and
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works to increase
understanding of the social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS on
development, to create effective gender-sensitive multi-sectorial
HIV/AIDS policies on poverty reduction strategies; and to
strengthen institutional management, aid coordination and
disbursement mechanisms. UNDP advocates for increased
development funding and for actions to break the silence
surrounding the epidemic. It promotes discussion and
implementation of policies that integrates HIV/AIDS into
national development strategies, poverty reduction strategies
and institutional reform. UNDP acts as an honest broker in
bringing together effective-community-based programs with
potential sources of funding.
of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) is to foster international
cooperation in intellectual activities designed to promote
human rights, help establish just and lasting peace and
further general welfare of mankind. UNESCO contributed to
UNAIDS by virtue of the scope of its field of competence, its
interdisciplinary approaches, and its experience, and by
bringing the vast network of institutions with which it
collaborates into the fight against HIV/AIDS
of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is, inter
alias, to build the knowledge and capacity of countries to
respond to needs in the area of population, with a major focus
on reproductive health, including family planning and sexual
health. UNFPA contributes to UNAIDS’ mandate with its
expertise in reproductive health promotion and service
delivery, its experience in logistics and management of
reproductive health commodities, including condoms, and its
experience in strengthening national capacity-building.
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), acting within the
framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, works
with governments and non-governments organizations in the
fields of health, nutrition, basic education, safe water and
sanitation to improve the lives of children, youth and women.
It brings to UNAIDS its operational field capacity in over 160
countries. UNICEF’s priority programme areas for HIV/AIDS
focus on prevention of infection, especially of adolescents,
school AIDS education, children and families affected by AIDS,
and mother-to-child HIV transmission
* As a leading
international health authority, the World Health
Organization (WHO) supports countries to strengthen their
health systems response to the epidemics of HIV/AIDS and
sexually transmitted infections. Its major focus is on
prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections,
vaccines and microbicides, prevention of mother-to-child
transmission of HIV, blood safety, epidemiological and
behavioural surveillance, safe injection practice,
strengthening of health systems, voluntary counselling and
testing, management of HIV-related illnesses alternatives and
complements to hospital care, access to drugs.
* The mandate of the
World Bank is to alleviate poverty and improve
the quality of life. Between 1986 and late 1999, the World
Bank committed over US$ 980 million for more than 75 HIV/AIDS
projects worldwide. Most of the resources have been provided
on highly concessional terms. To more effectively address the
devastating consequences of HIV/AIDS on development, the Bank
is strengthening its response to epidemic, working in
partnership with UNAIDS, donor agencies and governments. The
Bank “Intensifying Action against HIV/AIDS in Africa”
strategic plan aims to rapidly increase action and available
resources and to bring to scale the interventions needed for
prevention and impact mitigation.
UNESCO, in its fields of competence, should contribute
to the collective endeavor, which aims at reducing the number
of HIV/AIDS-infected young people by 25% by 2010. This is also
a critical UN target.
It should be highlighted the importance to be assigned
to the HIV/AIDS in UNESCO’s programme and its implementation
of a large number of projects and activities in this field
involving education, culture, science and communication. A
comprehensive strategy for HIV/AIDS eradication, structured
under a certain number of flagship activities, is needed. New
information technologies and mass media should be used to
enforce mobilization of advocacy, information and other
resources in AIDS prevention. This could constitute the core
of this strategy, which should envisage working with two key
target groups, women and the youth, in particular young
couples. Based on the best UNESCO practices and taking into
account pertinent international development targets, this
strategy should also draw on the experience gained by other
sectors i.e. scientific approaches, cultural studies,
preventive education through educational systems, whether via
formal or non-formal approaches, etc.
It is obvious that such a
strategy can only be fully implemented if UNESCO manages to
build up active partnerships at international level, to ensure
all of them are included as key focus in international agendas
on HIV/AIDS issues, and at regional level, were it should give
high priority to activities designed to meet the needs of the
regions hardest hit by HIV/AIDS.
Using Communication for HIV/AIDS Prevention and care Strategic Action
Plan on HIV/AIDS.-
Three factors are important in designing a strategy to
sensitize the public and target audiences on the problems of
HIV/AIDS bearing in mind the overall goal of reducing AIDS
1.-The most important single fact from UNAIDS reports
is that young people between the ages of 10 and 24 account for
more than 50% of the new infections after infancy worldwide.
This means that most of such infections are from heterosexual
relations and not solely from homosexual contact. Isolating
this single factor simplifies somewhat the eventual approaches
to a clear and efficacious set of solutions. In other words,
young people, and particularly in young couples, must be an
integral part of the policy and of the solution.
2.-Both men and women are part of the problem; they are
also part of the solution. Strategies must therefore be gender
sensitive, but particularly focus on the social and cultural
problems facing girls and young women. Women are the more
vulnerable in the young age group, both because they are more
susceptible to contracting infections and because they are
often dominated by the other sex.
3.- The use of communication has usually followed
“campaign style” strategies for adoption (use of condom);
or social change (safe sex); sensationalism (AIDS cases and
victims, medicinal breakthroughs). Communication has been
inadequately used to investigate reasons and root causes, and
often-general social and cultural factors; nor has
communication been adequately used to promote social and
political solutions (advocacy).
Three main conclusions can be drawn from the above
Ways must be identified to ensure the representation of
young people, either as individuals or as organizations in any
group that seeks to formulate national policies to reduce
vulnerability of young people to HIV/AIDS. There must be ways
of obtaining these views and sensitizing the public and
political leaders about them.
Special programs should be worked out for girls
and young women, taking into account the particularities of
region, history and tradition, culture, and civil unrest or
Special attention should be given to applying the
techniques of investigative journalism and advocacy to the
problems facing women and young people in their sexual
relationships, and particularly the problem of HIV/AIDS in its
fullest social, cultural and economic context.
Notwithstanding all the research and project reporting,
there are still a number of unknowns with regard to how the
virus is contracted, in what circumstances and how these
circumstances came about. Little is known of ethnic and social
taboos and how these are related to HIV/AIDS. Few specialists
living in the industrial countries can fathom how extreme
poverty can lead to desperation, convincing parents to sell
their children for money or services. Little is understood
about the traffic of young girls and boys for the purposes of
prostitution and pedophilia in various parts of Southeast and
South Asia, sub-Sahara Africa, Central America and the
Caribbean, and now Eastern Europe particularly following
periods of armed conflict. Nor is it known how this is related
to organized crime rings of prostitution and pedophilia,
including their operations on the Internet.
Not only is it necessary to investigate and understand
the relationships between this phenomena and the spread or
prevalence of HIV/AIDS, it is also necessary to inform the
public about them. And is why a strong component of
investigative journalism and in-depth media analysis would
serve well in underpinning future action. An effective
response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, regardless of the social
and cultural context, requires effective communication
strategies. The strategic goal which should underline
the communication and HIV/AIDS projects is to identify,
develop and advocate best practices, in particular among media
practitioners, professionals and organizations in reporting on
HIV/AIDS and in using communication to create awareness and
generate knowledge about its causes and prevention. The
specific objectives should be:
1.- Through media campaigns, to increase the level of
understanding among the public, but particularly of young
people and women, of the AIDS infection, how it is incurred,
how to prevent it, and how to encourage others;
2.- To form or strengthen the growing corps of media
practitioners ready to report on Aids and to use media in
support of programs for its prevention and management;
3.- To provide through newspapers, radio, Internet and
other forms or combinations of communication media a permanent
and constantly updated source of in-depth information on the
4.- To set up AIDS information databases on the
internet accessible to media practitioners and others and
provide more comprehensive, updated information on a regular
5.-To promote through the media, programs and
activities of inter-governmental agencies, governmental
bodies, NGO’s and other groups dealing with AIDS prevention
In the Action
Plan for the sub-Saharan Africa, the strategy should be
towards building a solid base of information and understanding
on how the media should operate with respect to AIDS and how
further benefits can be gained. This endeavor should involve
both media researchers and practicing journalists.
The UN Eastern Africa Strategy on
HIV/AIDS and Investigative Journalism Project. UNESCO
and overall purpose:
UNESCO through its Office of Communication in
cooperation with UNAIDS Working group, as well as specialized
regional and national NGO’s related areas is looking to set
up a working framework for the emergence of investigative
journalism on HIV/AIDS related issues in the Media in Eastern
Africa, one of the most affected areas by the pandemic in the
Improve the quality and quantity of flow of information
to the media and the civil society in general through the
setting-up of a regional Eastern and Southern Africa HIV/AIDS
Media Clearing House.
To enhance the knowledge of all stakeholders in the
society through the use of international platforms such as
internet and the use of NICT’s;
To contribute to the decrease of the pandemic through
the development and production of media programs and
information which are appropriate to the grave situation faced
by East Africa;
To enhance the effective, active and full participation
of civil society- including the private sector- in the
processes of gathering, processing and distribution of
information through the introduction of a participatory
process in the three-prone process of learning, informing and
To enhance the monitoring and evaluation systems to
assess the impact of the media on HIV/AIDS activities and
To increase the recurrence of “Best Practices” in
Eastern Africa through enhanced cooperation with the HIV/AIDS
Media Clearing House in Southern Africa and, at a latter
stage, with the rest of Africa;
To launch a regional survey, on the need and nature of
the coverage required and information needs;
To identify and set-up interconnections (working
protocols) with regional networks of journalists media houses
and information clearing houses, NGO’s, CBO’s as well with
the private sector organizations;
To evaluate and improve the content of the information
packages for the print and broadcast media specially for
training media professional on the job;
Introduce the subject of HIV/AIDS and
investigative journalism in the communication curricula in the
To define with the UNAIDS Working group and
other partners, a strategy fro the training of media
professionals with a participatory approach for the design of
HIV/AIDS campaigns in the media for each country and region
according to their educational, social and cultural
To gather a core of influential media
professionals dealing with the subject of HIV/AIDS including
editors, journalists as well as government information and
public relation staff;
to gather, process and distribute actualized
information on different aspects of the pandemic. This
information will include that of specialized NGO’s, CBO’s,
the private sector and other stakeholders;
To set-up in cooperation with UNAIDS Working
group a Media Clearing House
To launch and Eastern and Southern website on HIV/AIDS
and Investigative Journalism to provide with an on-line outlet
and a platform for exchanges on the subject for media
professionals but also for the general public;
introduce a continuous and participatory monitor and
evaluation structure – including focus groups and monthly
surveys – to evaluate effectiveness;
To set-up a network for distribution and collection of
information to assess impact of the media on national
campaigns to help define priorities in the allocation of
resources and interventions;
To set-up a physical Media Clearing House that
will contain the website with a journalistic reference datable
and actualized background documentation from all UN Agencies
and other stakeholders (governments, NGO’s, CBO’s, etc)
working in the subject of HIV/AIDS;
To facilitate dissemination of information through mass
media outlets in the region and monitor the outcome in a
recurrent and continuous form.
UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNFPA, WHO, ILO, World Bank, UNESCO
National Commissions, SAFAIDS, ZAMCOM, IPS, MWENGO, Task Force
for the Review of HIV/AIDS related Laws.