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Group offers seminar on HIV reporting

CEBU, Philippines –  A non-government organization (NGO) will conduct a free one-day seminar-workshop on “Enhancing Knowledge and Skills in HIV-related Media Reporting” among media practitioners in Cebu on September 28.

Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc. is inviting members of the Cebu press to attend the activity that will start at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Cebu Grand Hotel, Cebu Capitol Complex, Escario St., Cebu City.

ACHIEVE is an NGO engaged in the development and implementation of programs addressing gender, sexuality, reproductive health and migration issues. It has proactively undertaken projects addressing HIV and AIDS issues in the last ten years, with a focus on education and awareness raising, research, and advocacy.

One of its current projects is focused on reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination through policy reviews and building of media competency on HIV-related reporting.

ACHIEVE has recently completed a Situation Analysis Report (SAR) on trends and patterns in HIV-related media reporting, which covers the period, January 2005 to February 2010.

The report notes that while there has been improvement on HIV and AIDS media coverage, the constant turnover of media personnel assigned to cover this beat requires a sustained conduct of education and orientation seminars for media practitioners.

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The report also states that stigmatizing language against people living with HIV (PLHIV) is still in use (e.g. “victim”, “carrier” and “AIDS sufferer”) and that certain protocols in interviewing PLHIVs are breached.

Executive Director Malu Marin said ACHIEVE recognizes the significant role of the media in eliminating HIV-related stigma, but this can only be possible when media personnel themselves are sensitized and informed of the issues.

Further, in one of the press conferences on HIV and AIDS organized by The Forum on Family Planning and Development in May 2010, media practitioners expressed the need to undergo a seminar on HIV and AIDS prompting ACHIEVE to conduct the training in Cebu. (FREEMAN)

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