January 2012


24 January-2 February 2012—HIV News Update.

  • Editorial: Tools only as good as the craftsman


  • Positive role model predicament: A health-e article syndicated in an edition of TNA this week examined the ins and outs of singling out people living with HIV as role models.
  • ANC dome debacle: Media throws caution to the wind: The condom has once again come up against bad press after news reports claimed that a batch of government ‘Choice’ condoms, ordered from the national health department for the ANC’s centenary celebrations, was sub-standard. Taking a more critical eye to media reports reveals that the bulk of the coverage has incorrectly given the impression that the condoms have been proven to be defective, when in fact they have yet to undergo laboratory tests.
  • DRUM 'out and proud' and addressing HIV: By publishing stories that highlight acceptance of homosexuality and same sex sexual practices, DRUM inadvertently gives HIV-prevention and treatment among men who have sex with men (MSM) a leg-up.
  • The Daily Sun encourages good conversation: The Daily Sun's ‘Speak Up!’ section provides a unique space for HIV-conscious readers to communicate through, rather than with, the media.

In the news:

  • TV's shuga babes! (Daily sun, The Star)
  • SA's mortality rate doubles and the birth rate decreases (The Citizen)
  • HIV update: ARVs and cholesterol (DRUM)
  • Studies on health status of South Africans begin (TNA, The Citizen)

January 2012—HIV News Update.


  • A harmful cocktail: Alcohol and HIV: Over the past few weeks, media coverage has gravitated towards the potential follies of youth. This is unsurprising given that a new year means new beginnings for many young people still struggling to negotiate the dawn of adult independence.
  • Dastardly disclosure: The Times leaves readers adrift: Last week The Times reported on the outraged responses of two women implicated in a public email which alleges that they were part of an organised ring formed to maliciously infect men with HIV. But the article in question does not provide any framework with which to make sense of the harmful and problematic behaviour of publicly disclosing a person’s HIV-status.
  • Sexual survival left by the wayside: As hoards of fledgling graduates flock to tertiary learning institutions, magazines and newspaper feature sections are dispensing sage advice for “surviving” the transition successfully.
  • City Press article could ring true: On Sunday (22 January) City Press newspaper featured an informative good news HIV-story, which revealed that yet another promising female-initiated method of HIV-prevention is being tested.
  • Infant feeding and HIV: DRUM fails to inform: Helping tiny tots make the transition from liquids to solid food can be testing for most parents. In the context of South Africa’s high HIV prevalence wherealmost one third of expectant mothers are estimated to be HIV-positive, it is even more problematic.
  • Clinic horror stories: Syndicated articles in TNA for two days running have covered the horror faced by residents of Du Noon trying to seek medical attention at their local clinic.

In the news:

  • LA considers making porn stars 'condomise' (The Times)
  • Oral HIV test results found to be less reliable (The Times)
  • HIV update: HIV and obesity (DRUM)
  • Doing the right thing (Brothers For Life in DRUM)
  • 32 years for keeping his HIV status from women (The Star)


Wits Journalism Anova Health

The project is jointly managed by the Anova Health Institute and the Journalism and Media Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, and supported by the Health Communication Partnership based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Centre for Communication Programmes and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief through the United States Agency for International Development under terms of Award No. JH/HESA-02-05.