24 April 2018 (Geneva, Switzerland) – The International AIDS Society (IAS) is proud to announce collaboration with AVAC on a new initiative to support HIV journalism worldwide. The IAS/AVAC Journalist Fellowships will premiere at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 22-27 July 2018.
Through a competitive application process, the fellowship initiative will select a group of early- and mid-career journalists from the AIDS 2018 media scholarship recipients.
IAS/AVAC Journalist Fellows will receive trainings on HIV science conducted by leading researchers and have access to roundtables and meet-the-expert sessions on issues such as programme implementation, epidemiology and social justice approaches to the epidemic. They will also participate in site visits to research, advocacy and community-based organizations helping lead the global response to HIV.
The objective of the fellowship is to support a global corps of journalists covering HIV by building their scientific literacy and increasing their opportunities to meet and interact with policy makers, advocates and other experts engaged in the global HIV response.
“Since the earliest years of the epidemic, journalists and media organizations have educated policy makers and the public about HIV, helped separate facts from fear and promoted compassionate and evidence-based responses to HIV,” AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren said.
“The IAS/AVAC Journalist Fellowship programme supports those efforts and helps build and strengthen the capacity of journalists, who in turn can inform and educate millions of others through their work.”
IAS Executive Director Owen Ryan added, “IAS conferences present critical opportunities to share the latest scientific information on HIV treatment and prevention with a global audience.
“The IAS/AVAC Journalist Fellowship programme will help ensure that reporters from around the world can not only attend these important global meetings, but also have the information and resources they need to report on the epidemic accurately. This initiative expands our shared efforts to support a crucial resource in the global response to this epidemic – a free and informed press.”
The IAS/AVAC Journalist Fellowship programme is based on a model created by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and supported by AVAC, in connection with the AIDS Vaccine and HIV Research for Prevention Conferences.
For more than a decade, AVAC has worked with a variety of partners to support journalists at conferences, including the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) and the South African AIDS Conference (SAAIDS). It has supported ongoing efforts by health journalist associations to bring together researchers, advocates and journalists to discuss HIV prevention research and rollout.
The fellowship initiative also represents a deepening and expansion of the IAS’s longstanding commitment to supporting journalists covering HIV and AIDS through its media scholarship programme, which has helped hundreds of journalists worldwide to attend and report on research developments at IAS conferences.
IAS/AVAC Journalist Fellows for AIDS 2018 will be selected from the pool of media scholarship recipients attending the conference. The goal is to build on the fellowship programme for future meetings, enabling interested journalists to apply to participate through the conference website. This would further strengthen the IAS media scholarship programme.
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About the International AIDS Society: The mission of the International AIDS Society (IAS) is to lead collective action on every front of the global HIV response through its membership base, scientific authority and convening power. Founded in 1988, the IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries working on all fronts of the global response to HIV. Together, we advocate and drive urgent action to reduce the global impact of HIV. The IAS is also the steward of the world’s two most prestigious HIV conferences: the International AIDS Conference and the IAS Conference on HIV Science. For more information, visit www.iasociety.org.
About AVAC: Founded in 1995, AVAC is a non-profit organization that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy and a network of global collaborations to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery of AIDS vaccines, male circumcision, microbicides, PrEP and other emerging HIV prevention options as part of a comprehensive response to the pandemic. For more information, visit www.avac.org.
About the International AIDS Conference: The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering on HIV and AIDS in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic. The conference also serves as a focal point to intensify political and financial commitments to AIDS. The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) will be hosted in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 23-27 July 2018, with the theme Breaking Barriers Building Bridges. For more information, visit www.aids2018.org.
IAS Director, Communications
AVAC Senior Communications Advisor