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Learning to Report on HIV/AIDS

28-04-2004 (Paris)
Learning to Report on HIV/AIDS
Participants in a regional workshop on The use of ICTs to improve reporting on HIV/AIDS say it sharpened their research and Internet browsing skills and also built their personal confidence in setting up electronic networks and discussion forums about HIV/AIDS. UNESCO evaluated the impact of the training five months after the workshop in Chennai, India.
The 18 women communication professionals brought together from Bangladesh, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka consider that they benefited greatly in building their capacity to report, lobby, network and discuss the science of HIV/AIDS. The week-long meeting, organized by UNESO and the Science and Development Network, coincided with the 4th International Conference on AIDS in India, which made it possible for the participants to put their newly acquired skills into immediate practice. Several say they still use the contacts initiated at that event.

Inspired by the training, the participants are not only now writing articles that provide new angles on HIV/AIDS but are also openly demonstrating their newly built confidence.

“What the workshop has done to me is to open more ideas to explore a better understanding of the science of HIV/AIDS and also to contact whom and where if I need input and information,” said Ranjita, who had since written a series of articles. “I can now ask questions with a certain degree of confidence,” said Soumi who now feels that she has a certain level of knowledge, especially on the ARV drugs and their uses.

Participants also appreciated the e-group created during the workshop and a list of HIV/AIDS-related reliable Internet-based resources that were provided, which many of the participants passed on to their colleagues. One participant went on to start an e-forum herself - AIDS_DELHI@yahoogroups.co.in has regular postings on different HIV/AIDS related subjects sourced from the Internet.

The focus on science in the workshop gave new perspectives. Farah believes that she can start contributing some knowledge on ethics in vaccine trials, which is of great interest to her organisation, the AIDS Prevention Society of Pakistan. Dilinka from Sri Lanka agrees. “I learned the importance of writing articles, which are credible and reliable. I learned a lot about the ethics of journalism”.

“The significant outcome for me after this workshop is the realization that I'd like to do scientific reporting, particularly HIV/AIDS, the prevention and care and support of which I passionately feel about. I am determined to pursue this prospect seriously,” said Varthaman from India.

The workshop participants say they still stay in touch and contact each other for information on HIV/AIDS beyond their own borders.

An open access training module was developed from this and a prior workshop for African women journalists and communicators. It is available on http://www.itrainonline.org/itrainonline/mmtk/.
Learning to Report on HIV/AIDS
Related themes/countries

      · Papua New Guinea
      · Role of Women in Communication and Information
      · Training of Media Professionals: News Archives 2004
      · Bangladesh: News Archive 2004
      · India: News Archive 2004
      · Pakistan: News Archive 2004
      · Sri Lanka: News Archive 2004
      · Mongolia: News Archives
      · Gender and ICT: News Archives 2004
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