I was interviewed for a research report, HIV and Stigma: The Media Challenge, written by Sophie Chalk from the International Broadcasting Trust.
Bill Snaddon, Research and Communications Officer from the Media Institute of Southern Africa believes that attitudes to HIV are changing but that disgrace around HIV is often due to its link with sex: “The stigma often comes back to the fact that you don’t want to admit to it because it can show you have been having sex. There is a lot of innuendo in the language around sex but people don’t talk about sex publicly, however the younger generation is talking more in public. There is a clear generational divide.”
“There are many challenges for both journalists and NGOs. The biggest challenge is a fatigue amongst the public with media content about HIV. Bill Snaddon believes the answer is more human stories: “The media and NGOs could work better together disseminating the human stories which will touch people’s hearts on this and write more features about Swazis living with HIV, giving it a less patronising and more positive spin to say this person has HIV and has overcome certain challenges and is still living a pretty decent life.”