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AIDS uncovered

Around 5 million out of 45 million South Africans are infected with HIV, and the number is increasing. Yet the issue is slipping from local headlines, according to a report by Media Tenor, a Pretoria-based institute. During 2004 the coverage across all forms of media has decreased to 1.2 per cent – 0.6 per cent on television news, 1.3 per cent in daily newspapers and 1.3 per cent in weeklies. ‘Society’ and ‘sport’ scoop 32.1 per cent between them. According to UNAIDS in South Africa, the media have a crucial role to play in educating the population, reducing stigmatization and stimulating government action. With South Africa running out of burial space for its AIDS dead, lives depend on editors and journalists ensuring that AIDS is not old news.