XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Strenghting media HIV capacity building with communications industry

P. Montenegro

CARE, UNIVIDA, Quito, Ecuador

Issue: Communication Media plays an important role in changing social behavior patterns related to HIV. When media report about HIV in Latin America it is often sensationalistic, highlighting death and the risk of contamination. An assessment of 20 Communication Medias from Latin America revealed that 80% of the interviewed did not have adequate knowledge about HIV and had no training on the topic; nevertheless they reported about health related issues, including HIV.
Description: In Ecuador, CARE developed a training program on HIV for reporters from Latin America with the aim to enhance social responsibility of 20 media outlets such as radio, TV, newspapers and magazines in order to build the capacity of the reporters to use appropriate technical language when reporting about the impact and issues of HIV. The methodology included theoretical parts, practical experiences and exposure to HIV programs.
Lessons learned: The collaboration of NGOs and a network of media from the region allowed the development of interventions to guarantee a positive reporting that does not discriminate and promotes better community understanding. A regional seminar allowed participants to better understand not only the technical language to be used in their reporting, but also personalized the theme of HIV and allowed the participants to better understand the human and social aspects of the epidemic.
Conclusions/next steps: The media industry is isolated from social networks that can support them in strengthening their ability to report positively on HIV. It is important as a next step to support a network of Latin American media to continue to built their capacity, while holding them accountable to their reporting. Monitoring the quantity and quality of media reporting on HIV and using the information to continue to advocate for better HIV reporting in me.

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