HIV, AIDS and Media

The media plays a key role in communicating, informing and educating the public at large. It also holds enormous power to shape opinions and influence how people perceive events. In this regard, and especially in the context of a democratic and human rights framework, the media has a responsibility to ensure that the information it communicates is transparent, balanced, accurate and ethical.

In South Africa, HIV and AIDS features fairly prominently across all media, however, coverage is of limited value, as it fails to explore a number of pertinent issues, including gender. Often, coverage of HIV/AIDS tends to focus either on political discourse, or on dramatic and sensational headlines, thereby promoting stereotypes and discrimination, and reinforcing the alienation of infected and affected people. The representation of HIV and AIDS in other African countries follows similar trends in terms of often failing to inform and educate people and focusing instead on dramatic elements.  Such coverage fails to inform people, often the most marginalised in society, of essentially life-saving information.

MMA monitors coverage of HIV/AIDS and advocates for the improvement in coverage along with partners who work with the issue.

Please browse through our various HIV and AIDS reports and analysis pieces.