Commentary & Opinion
Media Must Continue to Play Vital Role in Global AIDS Fight
December 7, 2009
"Today, almost 6,000 people die of AIDS every day, with another 6,800 people infected daily with HIV. In the face of staggering numbers like these, for two decades the fight against AIDS seemed unwinnable," Tom Freston, chair of the ONE Campaign and a board member of Project (RED), writes in a Mediaweek opinion piece. Now there is "real hope, due to innovative global efforts that are gaining real traction," like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and PEPFAR, which have "put more than 3.7 million people on AIDS medicine over the past seven years," according to Freston. "For the first time, global HIV infection rates are slowing down. What's more, at the current rate, by 2015, it's a real possibility that no mother will have to fear passing on the disease to her child because treatment will be available to her," he writes.
"My colleagues in the media have played a key role in waging this fight over the past 30 years ... Given the real progress and signs of hope we are seeing, this is no time for media to look away," he writes. "It is time for the media in the Western world to redouble its efforts and move forward with a new message of optimism and hope, while also informing and encouraging both the public and decision makers to remain committed to the cause. If we are ever to reach our goal of living in a world free from HIV/AIDS, it is essential that the media, with all of its influence and powers of persuasion, continues to play its part to lead the effort in the fight against AIDS," Freston concludes (12/6).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.