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The HIV/AIDS Challenge

During the past quarter century, more than 60 million people worldwide have become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and 25 million have died. The death and devastation caused by AIDS has wreaked havoc on social stability and economic development, exacerbated poverty, and caused immeasurable human suffering around the world. Despite the best efforts of policymakers, the scientific community and civil society, the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to outpace the response.

With its vast communications assets, mass media represent a formidable force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – both in stemming its spread and reducing stigma against people already living with the disease through a more informed public. HIV is preventable. Yet, gaps in public awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS continue to exist in every region of the world. By working in partnership with media, information can be spread faster than the disease.

The Media Opportunity:
Why Media Makes a Difference

Inform and Educate
By incorporating HIV-themed content across platforms, media can open channels of communication and foster discussion about HIV/AIDS. From targeted PSAs, to news and public affairs reports, to original programming, to HIV-themed storylines incorporated into popular TV sitcoms and dramas, media can deliver lifesaving messages.

Challenge Stigma & Discrimination
Media can help break the silence that surrounds HIV/AIDS and create an environment of support and solidarity for people already living with the disease.

Connect with HIV/AIDS Services
Collaboration between media, grassroots organizations, service providers, and government agencies can help to connect those in need with vital services – such as preventive counseling, testing, and treatment.

Build Political Will
As powerful business and community leaders, the media can help keep the issue at the top of the policy agenda.