Alongside a Right to Health, a Right to Information

This World Aids Day, in this video, three top AIDS scientists: Dr. John Mascola, Director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH; Françoise Barré Sinoussi, who discovered HIV at Institut Pasteur in France; and Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, appeal to journalists to do what they can to turn the epidemic around – through stories that explain why the science matters and by using metaphors they ordinary people can relate to.  

In 2000, just 685 000 people living with HIV received antiretroviral therapy. Now, nearly 21 million people living with HIV are on treatment, as announced by UNAIDS. People with HIV can expect to have a normal lifespan if they are on treatment. But stigma still keeps many millions of people from testing regularly. In many parts of the world, health policy has to reform so that people can access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP, the once-a-day prevention pill for those at high risk of HIV infection. “PrEP works” is the simple message: now, put it to work! 

This year’s World Aids Day theme is The Right to Health. But those most affected by HIV are often the most marginalized in society; they are also the most frequently denied their right to health. Internews regards trusted health information as a basic right and a key service in its own right. In many parts of the world, good news stories from science are not known – in part, because the science is complex. That is why our Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR) project with AVAC works with journalists to translate the science.