Community Media/KCOMNET/HIVAIDS for CR

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HIV AIDS Programmes for Community Radio

Community Radio Reporting on HIV and AIDS


  1. Understand HIV and AIDS: how it impacts on you and the society
  2. Improve your technical grasp of HIV and AIDS related issues
  3. Understand how radio can be useful in the fight against HIV and AIDS
  4. Improve (sanitize) your language during HIV and AIDS reporting


  1. New knowledge and skills to deal with HIV and AIDS.
  2. Knowledge and skills on sustainability of community media
  3. Participants to appreciated creativity in community broadcasting.
  4. Sharing experiences on coverage of HIV and AIDS.
  5. Learn to package relevant HIV and AIDS information.
  6. Learn interviewing skills on HIV and AIDS (Infected and Affected).
  7. Be able to handle challenges of HIV and AIDS reporting.
  8. Learn to produce documentaries on HIV and AIDS.
  9. Learn to strengthen community radio participation in reporting HIV and AIDS issues.
  10. Sustainability in HIV and AIDS programming.
  11. Operations of different community radios.
  12. Gender perspectives in HIV and AIDS related programming.


  • Clear information presented in appropriate format and language ensures effective communication
  • HIV/AIDS awareness in the general population is limited, often with inaccurate information.
  • Journalists should understand common medical terms, scientific fact and statistics to ensure accurate reporting.
    • This enables the journalist to:
      • Conduct research
      • Interpret data
      • Ask the right questions

Appropriate Language

Journalists should:

  • use language that does not victimize
  • Is Value neutral, gender sensitive and empowers
  • Utilizes appropriate HIV&AIDS terminologies, for the right audience
  • Uses descriptive terms that are preferred by the audience
  • Depending on the audience, avoid using acronyms
    • AIDS is the later stage of a HIV infected individual, when one’s immune response is highly compromised and hence vulnerable to Opportunistic infections (OIs)

Language/terminology in HIV and AIDS

Language to Avoid Recommended Language
  • AIDS scourge, plague.
  • These imply that HIV and AIDS cannot be controlled. These Are sensational terms. They can fuel panic, discrimination and hopelessness.
  • HIV epidemic.
  • HIV pandemic.
  • AIDS test.
  • This does not exist. AIDS is diagnosed according to specific medical criteria that identify the symptoms of AIDS.
  • HIV test.
  • Tests exist to determine whether a person has HIV.
  • These tests look for antibodies to HIV present in a person’s blood.
  • To catch AIDS. AIDS cannot be caught or Transmitted.
  • People can become infected With HIV. Transmission of HIV is correct, but it puts the emphasis on who and how the virus is transmitted.
  • Very often individuals with HIV do not know when they became Infected with the virus, so specialists in HIV and AIDS suggest not dwelling on this.
  • To become infected with HIV.
  • To contract HIV.
  • To become HIV-positive.
  • AIDS sufferer.
  • Many people with HIV and AIDS can have relatively good health for Years. They can lead happy lives.
  • AIDS victim. Victim suggests that the Person is powerless.
  • Innocent victim. Nobody chooses to have HIV. ‘Victim’ and ‘innocent’ suggest that there is someone who is guilty.
  • HIV-positive person.
  • Person living with HIV (or person Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) or person living with AIDS)
  • Safe sex.
  • No sex with a partner is ever completely risk fee, even when using a condom,which can greatly reduce but never fully eliminates the risk.
  • Safer sex
  • Promiscuous.
  • This is accusatory and Derogatory
  • Having multiple partners
  • Prostitute. This is derogatory, insulting, Value-laden word
  • Commercial sex worker.
  • Drug abuser, drug addict. Many people who Use drugs consider that they are in controlOf their use of drugs and they are not abusing them and are not addicted to them, which serves no good purpose.
  • It is the act of injecting with a contaminated needle, not the drug use itself, that can transmit HIV
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Homosexual. This is not appropriate in the African context. This is a western idea of One’s identity. In different regions of the World, men who have sex with men do not necessarily have a gay or homosexual Identity.
  • Men who have sex with men.
  • To die of AIDS.
  • AIDS is not a disease. It is A syndrome-or a group of illnesses – Resulting from a weakening of the Immune system. This weakening is caused by HIV and opens the body to ‘opportunistic’ Diseases (illnesses that take advantage of weakened immunity)
  • To die of a [specific] illness, such as Tuberculosis or cancer.
  • To die of an AIDS-related illness.



  1. Use of credible source such as experts, people like us (PLU), this are people the audience can identify with, celebrities and role models, community leaders/opinion leaders.
  2. An appropriate emotional appeal:
    • One should be able to assess how our credible source will make our audience feel. Presenter should evoke emotion from target audience
      • View idea in a logical manner or sequence
      • Explore probable angles to attack the subject
      • Point out the weak areas


1. Magazine
(Presenter(s) linking different items)

  • News
  • Variety
  • Sports

2. Interviews
(Person/s being asked questions by another person(s))

  • One on One
  • Celebrities
  • Phone-in

3. Testimony
(Person/s speaking straight to the audience-unedited)

  • Positive person
  • Witness
  • Experience
  • Spot

4. Drama
(A story the audience knows is portrayed of told by actor(s))

  • Soap
  • Comedy
  • Musical
  • Tragedy

5. Report
(Single subject explored by reporter/s linking related footage)

  • Feature
  • Spot
  • News
  • On-the-spot/location
  • Sports

6. Montage
(Recordings edited to tell a story without a presenter)

  • Documentary
  • Music
  • Interviews

7. Actuality
(Unedited live events)

  • Sports
  • Concerts
  • Disaster
  • Launch

8. Discussion
(A group of people discussing a subject(s))

  • Open
  • Themed
  • Panel

9. Game
(Person(s) playing game)

  • Quiz
  • Competition
  • Debate
  • Phone-in


Use Ingredients of Happiness
  • Balance
  • Optimism
  • Loving relationship
  • Inner peace
  • Sense of purpose
  • Health

Assignment for groups attending workshop in Ivory Coast

  • Discuss issues and problems related to HIV and AIDS affecting your communities and carry out the following activities:
  1. Identify 5 themes
  2. Identify issues to be covered in each of the selected themes
  3. Discuss probable formats
  4. List possible content providers
  • Prepare a document, which you shall use to sell your program idea to colleagues back at your station and probable sponsors.
  • Select one of the identified themes and produce a 15 mins program that consists of the following formats:-
  1. Interviews
  2. Report
  3. Testimony
  4. Actuality

NB: Use Material recorded from both outside and inside the studio