Tagsadherence, hiv treatment, lesego motsepe, soapies
Soapie star’s passing should spark debate around HIV treatment
22 January 2014
Media should highlight the efficacy of life-saving HIV treatment in the wake of soapie star Lesego Motsepe’s passing.
Lesego Motsepe became a positive role model for countless South Africans when she announced on radio that she was living with HIV on World AIDS Day two years ago.
But at the beginning of 2012, Motsepe would make another very public and very controversial announcement reminiscent of the bogus ‘HIV treatment’ advocated by the late Health Minister Manto Tshabala-Msimang; Motsepe was stopping HIV treatment in favour of more natural methods.
In the wake of the actress’s passing, various publications are focusing on her health choices to varying degrees; while the Daily Sun neglected to mention her decision to default on her ARVs, The Times speculated that Motsepe’s death was ultimately caused by that choice.
Whether or not media reports have chosen to highlight Motsepe’s passing in relation to her going off of her HIV treatment, this is arguably an opportunity to bring the subject of HIV and HIV treatment to the fore.
Despite having the world’s most severe HIV epidemic, knowledge around HIV and AIDS continues to be dangerously poor with myths and misconceptions still in circulation. When considering this, along with the fact that the print media reaches millions of South Africans every day, it is clear that the media has the potential to function as a vital platform for HIV education.
As a public figure who was open about her HIV-positive status and her choices in relation to HIV treatment, Motsepe’s death will be, and already is, subject to public scrutiny.
It remains to be seen if the media will take this opportunity to delve deeper into informative discussions around HIV, living with HIV and HIV treatment and adherence.
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