Strenghting media HIV capacity building with communications
CARE, UNIVIDA, Quito, Ecuador
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.
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.
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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