The Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA) has began a-2 day training workshop for media practitioners in the state to launch the campaign on HIV/AIDS reporting and communication.
The training workshop which commenced on 11th October, 2018 is holding at Access to Basic Care Foundation (ABC Foundation) located at Adeoyo, Ring Road area of Ibadan.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Hon. Obatunde Oladapo, said that the body is responsible for the management and coordinating the HIV response and all that relates to HIV/AIDS in the state.
He stated that objective of the training workshop is to ensure that media practitioners in the state and beyond are well informed with information and skills on the effective HIV/AIDS awareness, reporting and communication.
In the first presentation of the training workshop, “Overview of the Present State of HIV in the State”, Mrs. Olusola Jimoh, stated that the HIV prevalence in Oyo State with about 7,759,051 population figure according to HIV Sero-Prevalence Sentinel Survey of 2014 was 1.9%, which indicated that 2 in 100 individuals in the state is infected.
While explaining role expected of the media practitioners in achieving vision 95:95:95, Mrs. Olusola Happiness as she is fondly called disclosed that it is essential to use right words to reduce stigma, giving out right information on treatment success to enhance retention care and avoidance of statement of stigmatization to describe people living with HIV encourages disclosure.
Ms. Olayide Akanni, Executive Director, Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) who presented paper on “The Role of the Media in the HIV/TB Response, emphasized that business of HIV is beyond the responsibility of a certain body or individual, rather it is the responsibility of everybody in the society.
She identified challenging harmful belief and practice, adopting investigative approach, challenging male attitudes on HIV and other health issues in the newsroom, open dialogue about sex and sexuality, balance, ethical and human center reporting as well as regular training for media practitioners for dispelling myths and misconceptions on HIV.
Ms. Akanni listed many factors that are militating against the progress of HIV/AIDS campaign in the recent time as decline in the funding to NGO, CBOS, challenging nature of the epidemic, resurgence of cure stories, rapid turnover/movement of journalists to other beats, survival of traditional media under threat and proliferation of online social media platform.
Mr. Fred Adegboye enlightened the participants on the appropriate expressions in reporting of HIV/AIDS related matters. He said that the initial shock of testing positive to HIV, poverty/ignorance, emotional crush, lack of access to proper, regular and affordable care, abandonment as well as isolation responsible to death of person living with HIV.