23.08.2006 -

Kaiser-CNN Award for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Journalism in Africa

Khopotso Bodibe and Anso Thom of the South Africa-based Health-e news network recently won the first Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Journalism in Africa for their investigative reporting on HIV/AIDS.

Khopotso Bodibe and Anso Thom were selected from more than 135 applicants from 29 countries by an independent expert selection committee appointed by CNN.

The Award, which is part of the prestigious 2006 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, was presented at a gala event in Maputo which was preceded by a day-long seminar, including a high-level discussion forum and site visits—on the economic and developmental impact of HIV/AIDS--jointly organized by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. An additional 15 African journalists shortlisted for the Excellence in HIV/AIDS Award participated in a four day program following the Award event designed to broaden their perspectives on reporting the epidemic.

Writing for the Cape Town-based news agency Health-e, Khopotso Bodibe and Anso Thom earned the award for their investigative reporting on the misuse of vitamin regimens as a cure for AIDS among poor populations in the Cape Town area. The AIDS patients were falsely counseled that antiretrovirals were poisonous and that the vitamins would fight off their HIV infection. A print version of the story appeared in the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times, while the full version is available on the Health-e website.




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