FRIDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- If the expression "out of
sight, out of mind" is true, then wealthier nations may be at risk
of forgetting about the global AIDS pandemic, according to an
international team of researchers.
Media coverage of HIV/AIDS fell more than 70 percent in
developed countries over the last two decades, according to a study
that tracked coverage in 115 leading broadsheet newspapers in 41
countries from 1990 until May 2010. In the early 1990s, an average
of 1.5 articles about HIV/AIDS was found in every issue of the
newspapers. That has fallen to less than 0.5 articles since
The decline in HIV/AIDS-related articles has been particularly
dramatic in American and French newspapers, the researchers
While media coverage of HIV/AIDS has decreased in some nations,
coverage has remained at a high level or increased in areas hardest
hit by the AIDS pandemic, such as South Africa.
The research was conducted as part of an ongoing project to
track worldwide media coverage of sustainability issues such as
human rights, poverty and climate change. The Trends in
Sustainability project includes researchers from the University of
Leeds and Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom, the
Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment in Berlin,
Germany, and Euromed Management School in Marseille, France.
"HIV/AIDS has emerged as a key issue that increasingly tends to be treated with neglect by newspapers based in the developed [northern areas of the world]," Frank Figge, of Queen's University Management School in Belfast, said in a University of Leeds news release. "This does not necessarily come as a surprise, as the remarkable progress that has been made in tackling HIV/AIDS has also largely been restricted to the wealthy North. Hence, the problem itself has shifted towards the global South."
The vast majority of HIV/AIDS research occurs in the developed
nations, so the apparent lack of interest in those countries may
harm efforts to find ways to fight the spreading AIDS pandemic in
developing nations, the researchers said.
The World Health Organization has more about