Media urged to keep HIV story relevant 

Source: Media urged to keep HIV story relevant – NewsDay Zimbabwe

INFORMATION deputy minister Kindness Paradza has urged media to desist from pre-occupying themselves with political coverage and cover social issues such as HIV/Aids in order to end the virus by 2030.

Paradza made the remarks on Thursday while giving a speech on behalf of Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a workshop for editors organised by the National Aids Council in Chinhoyi.

“I would like to call on editors to develop more innovative ways and programmes for covering HIV, in an environment where the media is polarised and heavily preoccupied with political coverage.  In this regard, you as editors have to ensure the HIV story remains relevant and competitive.

“Now that COVID-19 is with us, it also very important that we keep these twin epidemics adequately covered, and our nation informed about the benefits of relevant behaviour change and the dangers there-of. Information is very strategic in decision making both at individual and national levels. With correct and balanced information, one is able to take proper decisions and actions to prevent one’s self and others from HIV infection,” he said.

Paradza said the role of the media must strengthen the national response to HIV/Aids through dissemination of correct and balanced information, and the telling of successful HIV stories.

He said the country has been successful in dealing with HIV through robust awareness campaigns and favourable policies.

“Through your commitment as editors, HIV and AIDS as well as other related ailments have remained on the media agenda and in the public interest over the years. You continue to frame HIV and AIDS as a story of undying appeal, replete with both human suffering and hope.”

The Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment survey (ZIMPHIA 2020) states that the HIV prevalence among adults was 12, 9%, which corresponds to approximately 1.23 million adults in Zimbabwe living with HIV in 2020.

Paradza also urged journalists to get the COVID-19 jab.