March #142 : Media Police - by Kathleen Reeves

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March 2008


Media Police

by Kathleen Reeves

A volunteer force of doctors, scientists and activists, AIDSTruth.org has been policing global media for what it considers faulty AIDS reporting since 2006. This past October, after a three-year AIDSTruth crusade, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ruled that an AIDS-related documentary it had aired, Guinea Pig Kids, made false claims about pediatric clinical HIV med trials.

According to an AIDSTruth report confirmed by the BBC, the drugs, already approved for adults,  were being tested to find the best dosages for HIV-positive kids. The BBC found that the film wrongly implied that the meds were futile and dangerous. Jeanne Bergman, an activist with AIDSTruth and the Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York City, says, “There is a hunger in media for [accepting] contrarian positions. There’s the assumption that whenever we challenge orthodoxy, we must be speaking truth to power.”


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