UNAIDS BEST PRACTICE COLLECTION. Because of their central position in people’s lives, the mass media have unrivalled potential to inform and educate the general public. Yet in the response to AIDS only a tiny fraction of that potential has been tapped. In surveys around the world, radio and television are cited as key sources of information about AIDS by large numbers of people. But although there are examples of imaginative and highly successful campaigns, by and large, media coverage of the epidemic is not sufficient to keep the public well informed.
There are still millions of people who have never heard of AIDS, and many more who harbour serious misconceptions about the disease. UNAIDS has been encouraging greater involvement of the mass media in responding to the epidemic. It recently produced a report, The Media and HIV/AIDS: Making a difference, which highlights the many ways in which media organizations can make an impact.
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