The Nigerian media have been asked to put more effort Into the coverage and reportage of HIV prevention advocacy programs.
Making this call during a round table discussion on the role of media in HIV prevention advocacy, organized by Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria (JAAIDS), Josephine Aseme, AVAC fellow 2020 pointed out that the media have a vital role to play in the fight against HIV.
Noting that education was the vaccine needed to eradicate HIV, Aseme, who charged the media to do more on the coverage of HIV prevention advocacy programs held that the media had a great influence on young people.
Also speaking at the roundtable discussion the executive director of Journalist Against Aids Nigeria Olayide Akannni who noted that HIV prevention programs were still underfunded in Nigeria urged the Federal Government to pay attention to funding HIV prevention programs.
Peaching the importance of Prevention over treatment Akanni said that HIV prevention programs are meant to halt the spread of the virus.
“HIV Prevention is about closing the tap while treatment is about mopping up the floor. You cannot leave the tap running while mopping the floor, it is going to be a fruitless effort,” she said
she also Listed Poor HIV testing coverage, Low HIV and sexual health Knowledge, Lack of prevention tools, stigmatization of persons living with HIV amongst others as factors militating against HIV prevention advocacy.
Responding to the call, journalists present at the roundtable discussion listed Editor’s bias, newsworthiness, funding, and difficulty in accessing News sources amongst others as the challenges militating against the coverage of HIV related issues by the Nigerian media.
The Journalists also promised to revive the coverage of HIV related issues in the Nigerian media space.