HIV Ireland launch media guidelines for reporting on HIV and AIDS

On Zero Discrimination Day 2021, HIV Ireland released new guidelines to inform media coverage relating to HIV and AIDS in Ireland.


HIV Ireland have published extensive media reporting guidelines to provide a vital touchstone for anyone reporting on topics relating to HIV and AIDS. Commemorating Zero Discrimination Day 2021, this new resource covers accurate use of language, best practice tips for media coverage, up-to-date information, case studies, key dates, and much more. 

Highlighting the significance of the guidelines, Executive Director of HIV Ireland, Stephen O’Hare, wrote in a press release, “Everyone living with HIV knows that the history of media reporting on HIV and AIDS is littered with examples of factual inaccuracy, misinformation and homophobia. Use of inappropriate language, finger pointing and sensationalism, particularly around transmission or acquisition of HIV, deeply damages efforts to combat stigma and improve outcomes for people living with HIV.”

“Abrasive, negative or alarmist reporting also hampers efforts to promote effective prevention methods including testing for HIV, PrEP and other prophylactic options (e.g. condoms) among those at increased vulnerability of acquiring HIV,” O’Hare continued.

HIV Ireland launched the new media reporting guidelines at an online event on Monday, March 1. During the webinar, speakers, including journalist Orla Ryan and HIV blogger Michael McFarland Campbell, addressed the media’s role in helping to eliminate HIV-related stigma through accurate and informed coverage. 

Queer Culture Ireland applauded HIV Ireland for the insightful webinar over on their social media accounts, “Excellent presentation by Susan Donlon from HIV Ireland on the importance of language in breaking down stigma and discrimination when talking about HIV and AIDS.”

Global Citizen Award wrote, “‘Stigma is rooted in fear’ – The media plays an important role in educating the public about #HIV. Thanks to HIV Ireland for publishing very important Media Reporting guidelines and for the webinar today.”

The new media reporting guidelines have been welcomed by a range of community groups across social media. ShoutOut wrote, “To mark Zero Discrimination Day 2021, HIV Ireland are launching media guidelines for those reporting on HIV. This is a fantastic resource not only for the media, but for educators and allies, to better understand and responsibly discuss HIV.”

National advocacy service for people who use drugs in Ireland, UISCE, shared, “Amazing work, HIV Ireland!!”

To further mark Zero Discrimination Day 2021, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) renewed calls to end inequalities. They expressed on Twitter, “Join us as we fight to end inequalities and achieve zero discrimination for all.”

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