Global Policy Forum

Quid Pro Quo: A Journalistic Look at NGO-Media


By Mia Malan*

Brown Journal of World Affairs

On the opening day of the fifteenth International Conference on HIV/AIDS, South Africa's Health Minister, Dr. Manto Tshabala-Msimang, addressed journalists and compatriots at the country's booth in the Exhibition Hall. She said, "There is increasing evidence suggesting that Nevirapine [a cost-effective drug used to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV] creates resistance in HIV-positive mothers and their babies, making its use unsafe if they later want to use the drug as an anti-retroviral."[1] The Minister referred to a preliminary study to support her statements.[2] This statement, along with an announcement by the country's Medicines Control Council (MCC) that it is considering the deregistration of single-dose Nevirapine, raised eyebrows. Two years prior to the conference, South Africa's highest court had ordered Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang to make the drug available, free of charge, to HIV-positive pregnant women and their babies. The Minister has displayed resistance to the order ever since.

In the context of Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang's support for South African President Thabo Mbeki's doubt that HIV causes AIDS, many interpret her announcement as yet another attempt to find a reason to suspend prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs in South Africa. The story, along with reactions from local non-governmental organizations, was headlined in almost every major newspaper and broadcast on regional and national radio and television stations throughout the country. Opposition politicians quickly responded with vehemence in the media.[3] Additionally, local NGOs and scientists were furious, insisting that statements such as Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang's undermine their efforts to educate South Africa's citizens about prevention against HIV infection. Soon after the Minister's statement, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), AIDS Law Project (ALP),[4] and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) held an emergency mass meeting for South African AIDS activists, health workers, scientists, and journalists attending the conference.

"One should always use an adverse comment as an opportunity to educate people and bring out the correct information and real situation,"[5] explained TAC chairperson Zackie Achmat.[6] The group of NGOs asked the scientists to explain the study quoted by Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang. Professor James McIntyre, Director of the University of Witwatersrand Perinatal HIV Research Unit, clarified that the survey is far from complete and that decisions about Nevirapine cannot be taken on the preliminary results[7]. Stephen Lewis, the UN special envoy for AIDS in Africa also said that, "The Nevirapine debacle causes unnecessary confusion, controversy and complications."[8]

This incident, in which prejudicial and misinformed information was disseminated, and then refuted by activists, is a clear example of NGOs taking on the responsibility of informing the media and the international community of the facts. At this same gathering, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and the British Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric HIV/AIDS Foundation issued a joint statement noting their concern about the proposed ban on the use of single-dose Nevirapine.[9] All these events, including corrected information about Nevirapine, were published and broadcast across the spectrum of South African media. Ultimately, Zackie Achmat convinced the conference organizers to give the TAC an opportunity to speak at the Thursday morning plenary session, to plead for access to Nevirapine for HIV-positive pregnant women in South Africa, and for scientists like Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang to distribute accurate information about the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. In the presence of thousands of participants, the TAC asked session Chairperson Graca Machel, the esteemed Nelson Mandela's wife, to speak to SA's Health Minister.

The truth that emerged from the NGOs' efforts is that single-dose Nevirapine has been proven to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by half. Other more complex regimens using combinations of Nevirapine and other anti-retroviral drugs are indeed more effective, but are also more complicated to use and considerably more expensive. Additionally, South African clinics lacking the capacity to administer a combination of regimens have to implement single-dose Nevirapine as the "minimum acceptable regimen for mother-to-child-transmission-prevention."[10] The South African Health Department chose to use this regimen in 2001, following a Constitutional Court order for it to implement mother-to-child prevention programs.[11] It was possible that the use of single dose Nevirapine could result in resistance, but there were no conclusive studies to prove this at the time.[12] These efforts resulted in the MCC publicly backtracking on its deregistration statements; the government issued a formal announcement that it would not end mother-to-child-transmission programs using Nevirapine while it investigated the use of other regimens.[13]

Six weeks later in Nyeri, Kenya, Nobel Peace Prize laureate-to-be, environmental activist and the country's Deputy Environment Minister, Wangari Maathai, addressed a public workshop. Maathai said, "HIV/AIDS is a biological weapon manufactured by the developed world to wipe out the black race from developing countries."[14] She went on to inform a largely incredulous audience that condoms were not effective in preventing HIV/AIDS: "If a doctor operating on a HIV/AIDS infected patient puts on three pairs of gloves when operating, how is just one condom expected to prevent the disease? These gadgets have been known to burst and tear!"[15] Maathai's listeners--scientists, NGO representatives, and senior diplomats--shifted uncomfortably in their seats. Her statements were briefly reported in the local media, but without any counter-explanation, interpretation, or criticism. A full month passed, and still no AIDS NGO or scientist attempted to publicly criticize Maathai. No comments contradicting her potentially dangerous utterances appeared in the local media.

"Not one AIDS organization gave an alternative view that we could report on, so that we could educate our listeners. Everyone kept quiet about it! NGOs should have made themselves heard, but they were not fulfilling their role,"[16] recalls Anne Waithera, presenter and producer of a popular weekly HIV/AIDS radio program in Kenya. At the time, only one media report was critical of Maathai: white freelance columnist Betty Caplan-- who has less credibility among Kenyans than her black media counterparts because she is sometimes seen as "out of step" with local issues--questioned the Deputy Minister's declarations in The Daily Nation newspaper. Caplan failed, however, to provide corrected information on condoms to counter Maathai's assertions.[17]

Letters written by confused Kenyans soon appeared in the local media. Many supported the respected Deputy Minister's controversial theories.[18] Following the announcement of Maathai's Nobel Peace Prize triumph, reams of tributes were published in newspapers across Africa; she was interviewed on radio and television in Kenya without a single mention of, nor effort to challenge, her highly inflammatory statements on AIDS.[19] Later, however, the Executive Director of the Kenya Network of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, Asunta Wagura, said, "I thought she needed to have done her homework and be sure on how to comment on AIDS, as her statements have a negative impact on our prevention efforts.I wanted to comment [about Maathai's statements] but everyone was talking about her Nobel Prize [and so I was afraid] that people would see me as the witch hunter, that they would interpret my comments as being jealous. I felt [it was] not the time to speak out."[20]

In South Africa, people were as excited about Maathai's Nobel victory (she is the first African woman to receive this honor), but not without caution. Local AIDS activists and scientists emerged to criticize her statements. In a local newspaper, Networking AIDS Communities of South Africa [NACOSA] Director Luann Hatani declared that, "conspiracy theories like the ones Maathai is suggesting don't assist in addressing the AIDS crisis."[21] Prominent AIDS doctor and Director of the South African HIV Vaccine Campaign Dr. Ashraf Grimwood said that assertions "like [Maathai's] cast a shadow over the way in which people are chosen for the Nobel Prize."[22] The highly respected Mail & Guardian newspaper published a scathingly critical article of Maathai's claims, pointing out the possible negative impact on AIDS prevention efforts in Africa. In Kenya, however, no such pieces appeared in the media. On the other hand, Maathai was overwhelmed with questions from international journalists based in Nairobi. They asked her to clarify her comments on AIDS and condoms. As a result, she published an article in The Daily Nation insisting that her statements had been misunderstood.[23] Yet no one of a credible standing in the AIDS world corrected her misinformation, and no one challenged the contents of Maathai's article declaring that she has been "misunderstood." The damage has been done. Kenyans remain confused. Many are no longer sure whether condoms are effective tools to prevent HIV infection. The uncertainty is reflected in the letters pages of the papers; the confusion is heard on radio phone-in shows.

This example of misinformation about HIV/AIDS without adequate response is closely related to the capacity of NGOs to use the media as an advocacy tool. Two years ago this author was the national health correspondent for the South African Broadcasting Corporation [SABC]. In South Africa, NGOs set the agenda for the South African media, making it their mission to convince reporters to cover the issues they are fighting for, such as access to anti-retrovirals or adequate government policies on the epidemic. Much of what South Africans and reporters learn about the science of HIV is taught by local NGOs, often through regular press conferences and through their statements on President Mbeki's controversial remarks, made from the late 1990s through to 2002.

Two years ago, this author relocated to Kenya to direct a program that trains broadcast journalists in HIV/AIDS reporting. While AIDS NGOs in South Africa were intimately involved in the reporting of AIDS-related news, AIDS NGOs in Kenya rarely interact with journalists, nor do they publicly criticize government policies or irresponsible statements that negatively impact their work. According to Policy Project Director Angeline Siparo, "NGOs have failed in many ways to move ahead of the public and offer direction...I do not have a sense that health-related NGOs have provided the necessary leadership to say that the government must.fix [the problem]. I am guilty of that myself."[24] Most AIDS NGOs in Kenya do not see the media as a partner to be used to pressure government for effective HIV/AIDS policies, nor do they see it as a tool to bolster their efforts to educate Kenyans on HIV prevention and treatment efforts.[25] NGOs appear to distrust the media, with the chief perception being that no potential benefit can possibly be gained from working with media outlets.[26] Even in cases when NGOs would like to use the media, there is simply no knowledge of how to go about doing so effectively.[27]

The media is a strong reflection of the environment in which it develops and operates, impacting significantly on the fight against HIV/AIDS, either negatively or positively. It must be noted, however, that in less developed countries the challenge facing NGOs in their efforts at using the media in their advocacy efforts is obviously quite different from that in more developed countries. One of the greatest challenges facing the TAC in South Africa was that media organizations rarely employed "educated" science reporters. Achmat explains, "They would not appoint a clinical researcher who can write as their science reporter. It would mostly be a general reporter also doing stories on health and science issues. However, that person would have no formal qualification in either of those fields.. It requires enormous patience and understanding from NGO's to accept that news organizations in poor countries generally do not invest in scientific reporting."[28]

Consequently, South African AIDS NGOs such as the TAC spend a considerable amount of time and effort drafting explanatory notes for journalists and directing them to scientists who can provide credible comment. Achmat says, "If a journalist phones me up today asking for a comment on microbicides, I would give the writer or producer comments from our organization's perspective, but then say, 'here is a scientific expert on the subject to interview-I will make sure she or he is willing to help you.'"[29] That does not negate journalists' responsibility to investigate stories independently, but in order to do so successfully, they need access to adequate resources and reliable information. Therefore, South African NGOs place great emphasis on the maintenance of personal relationships with journalists, understanding that these relations are essential for effective media coverage. In addition, prominent health-related NGOs send updates via email to reporters on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Achmat is convinced that AIDS NGOs cannot ignore the media if they want their advocacy efforts to reach as many people as possible. He explains, "There is no way that we can cover the whole country--in many cases we do not even reach an entire community! We have to rely on news organizations and use them to reinforce our efforts in communities. That is why it is so important for us to invest in the media and make sure journalists are educated enough to file accurate reports."[30]

In her column in the East African Standard newspaper, Asunta Wagura argued that the responsibility to "educate and inform society" about HIV/AIDS "rests squarely on both [NGOs and the media]."[31] She is one of the few Kenyans heading an AIDS NGO who is willing and able to use the mainstream media. Wagura said, "Last year the bank denied me a mortgage because I am HIV-positive. I immediately told journalists about it so that they could file reports that would put pressure on the bank and inform the country about [the discrimination that] was going on."[32] This is however an isolated example of success. Things generally work very differently in Kenya, as the relationship between health NGOs and the media is one of distrust. Even Wagura admits that "the [Kenyan] media has to find its own way of getting information on what is going on [with regards to HIV/AIDS] because NGOs think journalists are always looking for negative aspects which are not there."[33]

Radio Citizen journalist Anne Waithera has to find new story ideas every week for her HIV/AIDS program Fragments of Life, and on only a single occasion has an AIDS project approached her to request that she visits them to hear more about their activities. Waithera is forced to spend many hours trying to convince NGOs and projects to help her to secure interviewees. She explains, "There is so much bureaucracy [in AIDS NGOs]. It is almost like dealing with someone in government. It is as if they are scared about what you are going to say about them, as if you want to expose something other than a normal HIV/AIDS issue. There is so much secrecy that is not supposed to be there."[34] Waithera admits to being "stunned" by these reactions from NGOs, especially as her program provides an excellent opportunity for advocacy on air. In Waithera's opinion, "NGOs should appreciat[e] it if someone from the media asks for an interview. It is free publicity and probably the best way of getting the people they are trying to reach to hear about what they are doing, but they do not see that as an opportunity."[35]

Ann Mikia, a senior reporter at the country's state broadcaster, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), has had equally bad experiences. Within Mikia's award-winning radio program A Stitch in Time is a live call-in component, for which she has to find studio guests. Local NGOs rarely take advantage of the opportunity provided by Mikia's program to advocate for their cause. When they do, Mikia often has to turn down offers, because many demand remuneration for their appearances. In Mikia's words, "You try to explain to them that you are from the media and want to get a person living with HIV/AIDS [(PWA)] through the organization so that you can encourage other PWAs. But even when you try to invite the heads of many NGOs, they ask whether there is some 'transport or 'lunch' [code words for payments in Kenya]."[36]

Generally speaking, AIDS NGOs in Kenya do not recognize the media as a potentially powerful tool for advocacy. In fact, they seem to subscribe to the opposite view. Wagura said, "They do not understand that they will be reaching a wide crowd through a newspaper or radio station. If they are asked to be a guest on a radio program, they look at it as if they are coming to promote the media and do the media's work. They do not see air time as a resource."[37] NGOs in Kenya also tend to provide reporters with "a lot of written material that is hard to go through and mostly badly written. The only time you will get a good story is when you just decide to interview people outside of the press conference."[38] Somewhat surprisingly, Wagura concurs with the journalists: "I do not know how to attract reporters' attention during press conferences. I do not know how to write a good press release. In fact, reporters rarely turn up for the few media conferences that we have."[39]

Policy Project's Angeline Sapiro argues that there is more to the poor relationship than NGOs' unwillingness to work with the media. In her opinion, "Many media organizations support particular arms of government. In some cases it does not matter how much you march or advocate for a certain issue, because only certain aspects of it will be covered [by the media].So NGOs do not see the media as allies."[40] The inaccessibility of Kenyan NGOs, however, is not the only factor affecting mainstream media coverage of HIV/AIDS in the country; the level and type of advocacy skills displayed are also very closely related to this issue. In South Africa, NGOs advocating for access to treatment and the rights of HIV-positive people, such as the TAC and ALP, regularly embark on awareness or protest marches that receive prominent media coverage. For instance, when the South African government refused to provide free Nevirapine to HIV-positive pregnant women and their unborn babies, the TAC immediately took the Health Minister to court in a bid to force her to do so. The resulting court case lasted more than a year and eventually found its way to the country's highest court, where it was argued that South Africa's constitution ensured HIV-positive women the right to affordable mother-to-child-prevention remedies. The legal proceedings were accompanied by regular demonstrations by HIV-positive women demanding access to treatment. As a result of media coverage by local and international news organizations, awareness of Nevirapine availability for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission is extremely high in South Africa, even though the country's government continues to appear unwilling to implement the strategy.

In Kenya, Nevirapine is available free of charge in almost every government antenatal clinic in Nairobi, but very few people are aware of this. According to a household survey conducted in September 2003 by Steadman International, a Nairobi-based company specializing in media research, less than a third of Kenyans in greater Nairobi knew that measures can be taken by an HIV-positive pregnant woman to prevent the transmission of the virus to her baby. Not a single respondent was aware of the specific existence of Nevirapine.[41] This can be attributed to the fact that the NGOs and/or government agencies heading clinics have inadequate and sometimes non-existent advocacy strategies that involve the media. Consequently, reports about their efforts are scarce, and the majority of the public living with HIV remains unable to access these lifesaving programs.

In South Africa, when the drug company Pfizer refused to lower the price of its anti-fungal drug Diflucan so as to make it affordable to poorer patients, the TAC went so far as to disobey the law to make people aware of what the organization saw as a grave injustice. In 2000, Achmat and his colleagues took the unprecedented step of importing Diflucan's generic equivalent, Biozole, which was 98% cheaper than the branded drug, from Thailand.[42] Although such importation was an illegal act, the TAC informed the media of their return from Thailand with the illegal drugs and even held a press conference to better inform the country.

TAC officials employed a professional cameraman to record the events in Thailand to educate the movement's members in South Africa, but also to provide every television station in the country with visuals to ensure that the South African public would be well informed. Time Magazine later commented that "the TAC's illegal import was a symbolic act of defiance, designed to challenge the drug companies and stiffen the spine of [Achmat's] own government."[43] The article described Achmat as aiming to "set a moral example and put the right to health and life before profit." Achmat himself said, "We don't want to be smugglers - [confronting Pfizer] is the government's job."[44]

Kenya has had a very different history from South Africa. In the case of the latter, the decades-long struggle against apartheid has fostered organizations with extremely strong advocacy skills, which are now being used effectively in the battle against HIV/AIDS in a democratic environment protected by one of the world's most liberal constitutions. In Kenya, the situation is considerably different. Even though the country gained independence from colonial Britain in 1963, the regimes of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi were repressive. According to Angeline Siparo, "There has always been confusion between fanatic loyalty and pointing out the issues. To criticize the government has always been seen as anti-African, and you were quickly and often brutally silenced . It has only been of late [with the new government of President Mwai Kibaki that came to power in 2002] that we can start to give our opinions more freely. In South Africa, there was one movement and all the people were behind it. But in Kenya, that is missing: there were only lone figures fighting, lone figures getting roasted within the political system . When they went into detention [because of opposition to the government], they have done so alone."[45]

Conversely, when Achmat imported Biozole illegally, he knew that should he be would arrested, he would be "bailed out" by the many people-including a score of lawyers-who were standing firmly behind him as a barrier of strong support.[46] In Kenya, however, such defiance remains a dangerous path. According to Siparo's account, "There is little solidarity. If you get arrested because you have marched about an issue, you are going to go to jail without someone bailing you out. That is one of the reasons why Kenyans really fear reprisal and don't speak out that easily.There is also the lack of confidence [that] the government [will] perform.So [the attitude is] 'would protesting in fact make any difference?'"[47]

Yet it is not only a lack of "togetherness" in Kenya that makes it difficult to speak out against the government; there is also the possibility that public criticism will result in severe consequences in terms of resources for government projects. Asunta Wagura said, "I may look at something that is wrong, but I swallow my pride and keep quiet . I've seen what has happened to others who start wrangles with the leadership. [The Kenya Network of Women Living with HIV/AIDS] provides HIV-positive people with food and drugs donated by the government; those people are reliant on these donations. So if I speak out, [the donations] may all be taken away and hundreds of people will suffer because of my wrangles with government."[48] In South Africa, NGOs have the privilege of a globally respected constitution that protects their rights to demonstrate and to criticize the state without fear of victimization. Democracy in Kenya, on the other hand, is still in its infancy. Even journalists argue that fear prevents critical discourse: "People still feel that the government can take advantage and close your operations or violate your rights, and nobody will do anything about it. There is a need for more democratic space. Our President [Kibaki] has on several occasions violated the constitution. If he has done it once or twice, why should he not do it again?"[49]

Generally, Kenyans perceive NGOs as implementers of projects and bearers of good news, rather than critics. The NGOs themselves are mostly dependent on funding from aid agencies which often have bilateral agreements with the Kenyan government. For the agencies, therefore, NGO criticism of the Kenyan government could easily result in severely negative repercussions for a particular donor. There is also a history of corruption within NGOs, revealed mostly in media reports, which makes them reluctant to speak to journalists. In South Africa, in the face of constant opposition from the highest governmental offices, NGOs and the media feed off each other; one cannot serve the public effectively without assistance and support from the other. Zackie Achmat and others remain convinced that AIDS NGOs in Kenya can and will come around to this way of thinking. Achmat should know: from a position of complete disempowerment, the TAC has arguably become the most significant advocacy voice on HIV/AIDS in the developing world, a world in which Kenya constantly asserts its centrality.

[1] W. Brummer, "Manto Laat Oe Rek In Die Buiteland" [Manto Raises Eyebrows Overseas], Beeld, 12 July 2004, Accessed on 19 November 2004.

[2] James McIntyre and Glenda Gray, "Nevirapine Resistance Mutations Among HIV-1 Infected Infants Following Single Dose Nevirapine," in C.C.N Pillay, et all, eds., Access for All Abstract Book - Volume 2, 28. Preliminary results of the study were presented at the International Conference on AIDS in Bangkok on 14 July 2004.

[3] W. Brummer, "Manto Gelooi Oor Sy Twyfel Oor Effek Van Nevirapien" [Manto Heavily Criticized Over Doubts About the Effects of Nevirapine], Beeld, 13 July 2004, Accessed on 19 November 2004

[4] The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Aids Law Project (ALP) are South African AIDS lobby groups and registered local NGOs.

[5] Telephone interview with Zackie Achmat, 26 October 2004 from Nairobi, Kenya

[6] TAC, Facts About Nevirapine are Simple--But Unnecessary Confusion Endangers Lives, 15 July 2004, Accessed on 28 October 2004.

[7] W. Brummer, "Babel in Bangkok," Beeld, 14 July 2004. Accessed on 19 November 2004.

[8] W. Brummer, "Gesant Van VN Taken SA Oor Vigs-Gesloer" [UN Envoy Tackles SA Over Hesitancy on AIDS], Beeld, 15 July 2004. Accessed on 19 November 2004.

[9] Ibid.

[10] TAC, op. cit.

[11] M. Malan, "The Scientific Politics of HIV/AIDS: A Media Perspective," University of Stellenbosch (Master's Thesis), March 2003, 80.

[12] Ibid.

[13] A. Pienaar, "Nevirapien Bly, Verseker Dr. Manto Na Bohaai" [Nevirapine Remains, Dr. Manto Assures After Outcry], Beeld, 17 July 2004. Retrieved from: Accessed on 19 November 2004.

[14] A. Kareithi, "Disease 'A Weapon to Wipe out Blacks,'" The East African Standard, 31 August 2004, 3.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Interview with Radio Citizen journalist Anne Waithera on 5 November 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms Waithera produces and presents a weekly HIV/AIDS program, Fragments of Life, on her radio station. In 2003, she came second in the radio section of the UNESCO HIV/AIDS Red Ribbon Media Award for Eastern and Southern Africa. She has also won a German scholarship for Health Broadcasting for her show.

[17] B. Caplan, "Maathai's 'Madness' Had Method," The Daily Nation 25, 7 October 2004.

[18] K. Getao, and I. Kamau, (Two letters) "AIDS virus: Don't Rule out Racist Theories," The Daily Nation, 27 October 2004, 10.

[19] L. Barasa, "Maathai is 'Declared' Envoy," The Daily Nation, 4 November 2004, 7; C. Muganda and B. Mutuma, "Wangari's Day of Triumph: Special Report," The Daily Nation Weekend, 15 October 2004, 1-4; L. Ng'anga, "Wangari Maathai--A Woman Who Has Everything She Needs," Eve, November 2004, 16-21.

[20] Interview with Asunta Wagura on 3 November 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms Wagura is HIV-positive, the Executive Director of the Kenya Network of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (KENWA) and a well-known AIDS activist.

[21] W. Brummer, and Sapa, "Nobelprys-Wenner Geroskam Oor Vigs" [Nobel Prize Winner Heavily Criticized About AIDS], Beeld, 10 October 2004, Accessed on 10 November 2004.

[22] Ibid.

[23] W. Maathai, "We Must arm ourselves with Information if we are to Understand and Overcome Aids", The Daily Nation, 12 October 2004, 13.

[24] Interview with Policy Project Director Angeline Sapiro, 27 October 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Policy Project is a co-operative agency of USAID. It is registered as a local NGO in Kenya, while maintaining its international affiliation with the Futures Group.

[25] Interview, Wagura.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Interview, Achmat.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] A. Wagura, "Asunta's Diary: We are Partners with the Media," The East African Standard, 21 August 2004, 15.

[32] Interview, Wagura

[33] Ibid.

[34] Interview, Waithera.

[35] Interview, Wagura

[36] Interview with Ann Mikia, 5 October 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms. Mikia works for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation as a senior producer. Her weekly HIV/AIDS slot, A Stitch in Time, has won the 2004 URTNA (Union for Radio and Television Networks in Africa) Award for the best HIV/AIDS radio program in Africa.

[37] Interview, Wagura.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Interview, Wagura.

[40] Interview, Sapiro.

[41] Internews Network commissioned a Household Survey from Steadman International in September 2003 to establish what the average radio listener in greater Nairobi knew about HIV/AIDS.

[42] Black AIDS Institute, Groups that work: Treatment Action Campaign, Summer 2003. Accessed on 28 October 2004.

[43] T. Karon, "South African AIDS Activist Zackie Achmat", Time Magazine, 19 April 2001. Accessed on 28 October 2004.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Interview, Siparo.

[46] Interview, Achmat.

[47] Interview, Siparo.

[48] Interview, Wagura.

[49] Interview, Waithera.

About the Author: Mia Malan is Resident Advisor (Kenya), Internews Network.

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