XVII International AIDS Conference 3-8 August 2008 | Mexico City Skills Building Session. Professional Media Coverage: Culture, Gender and Human Rights in HIV and AIDS Reporting. 6 August 2008 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Venue: SBR3. Workshop Objectives.
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XVII International AIDS Conference3-8 August 2008 | Mexico City Skills Building Session
Professional Media Coverage:Culture, Gender and Human Rights in HIV and AIDS Reporting
6 August 2008
from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
To increase awareness of what comprises culturally relevant, human rights-based and gender sensitive reporting.
To build knowledge on how to report effectively on HIV and AIDS.
To identify the importance of language in reporting on HIV and AIDS.
To build media professionals’ capacity for reporting on HIV and AIDS.
Mr Andrew Radolf
UNESCO Office in San Jose
Ms Mia Milan
Mr Chris Mallouris
Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS,
Ms Ainhoa Jaureguibeitia
UNESCO Headquarters, Culture Sector
Room for improvement concerning the scope and quality of HIV and AIDS coverage in the media.
The language used to report on HIV and AIDS is still perceived to be stigmatizing – portraying people living with HIV as passive victims, or in some cases even criminalizing them.
The goals of the media and HIV activists are perceived by some to be in opposition.
More investigative stories about social issues related to HIV and AIDS
More stories about people living with HIV and AIDS in order to give a face and a voice to the disease
Increased focus on positive livingwithin
the portrayals of people living with HIV
More specialist health reporters
Important to understand how culture influences the discussion, prevention and treatment of illness
Culture has a vital influence on health:
Determines how health-related decisions are made
It shapes definitions
What are some examples of the relationship between culture and healthwhen covering HIV and AIDS?
Community versus Individual values
Culture is often portrayed as an obstacleto healthy behaviours
but in fact
Culture is usually the key to encouraging positive behaviour changes.
BUT building a general awareness of these can make reporting more accurate, balanced and relevant to your audience.
HIV and AIDS
The term “Gender” is often
confused with ‘Sex’:
‘SEX’The biological and physiological characteristics that define someone as a man or woman
To mark the difference in your writing, you can use ‘male’ and ‘female’ for sex categories, and ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ for gender categories. World Health Organisation (WHO), “What do we mean by “sex” and “gender”?”
Gender Culturally constructed roles assigned to men and women influencing what behaviours, activities and attributes are acceptable for each sex.
Gender inequality is currently both fuelling and intensifying the impact of the HIV epidemic.
gender norms can influence:
Everyone has personal opinions, biases and stereotypesthat can easily influence a person's work
Gender biases and prejudices within reporting and amongst media practitioners can seriously jeopardize the quality and accuracy of reporting.
Introducing a gender perspective into the media is important because it helps journalists and editors to understand how:
Attitudes, Prejudices, Biases,
come out within reporting
Gaining an understanding
of how gender is
impacting the epidemic
as a necessary
basis for reporting
on the epidemic.
Two Gender Dimensions within HIV and AIDS reporting:
Adding a gender perspective tothe
Human rights express recognition and respect for human dignity: they are universal and belong equally to all human beings
Human rights consist of:
economic, social and cultural rights
civil and political rights
What is different
HIV and AIDS?
The spread of HIV and AIDS is disproportionately high among groupsalready experiencing a lack of human rights protection, social and economic discrimination, and/or are marginalized by their legal status. 
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, Young People in Action Kit”
HIV and AIDS