Reporting on children in the context of HIV/AIDS. A Journalist’s Resource

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In the context of widespread HIV/AIDS and poverty, this document provides reference information about children affected by HIV/AIDS and related policy issues, which need urgent and in-depth coverage by the media.
Divided into five main parts, the resource contains the following information:
Part 1 highlights the many ways children are affected by HIV/AIDS, and challenges the predominant focus in the media on AIDS orphans. Some of the statistics and stereotypes commonly associated with AIDS orphans are contextualised within the range of children rendered vulnerable by the combined impact of HIV/AIDS and poverty;
Part 2 presents ten of the many critical issues at stake in a national response to children experiencing the impact of the epidemic. It includes: key issues related to the implementation of clinical interventions to prevent and treat HIV in children; the delay in formalising programmes and policies, and the appropriateness of some existing responses, such as the building of more orphanages, the reliance on volunteers, and the ways government grants are being implemented; and the limitations of media prevention campaigns and poor health services for youth;
Part 3 uses recent research studies to describe some of the media’s limitations in its representation of children and HIV/AIDS. Some of the misleading messages commonly perpetuated are listed and trends in the ways in which stories are reported are outlined;
Part 4 provides five guiding principles to both safe-guard children and enhance reporting;
Part 5 presents a list of resources
This resource was compiled by the Children’s Institute, the Centre for Social Science Research, the Media Monitoring Project, and the HIV/AIDS and the Media Project


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