HIV/AIDS: 25 years of press coverage

January 1, 2006

Background to the Abstract

The figures are difficult to grasp: 65 million have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died since the disease was first detected in 1981. Currently, 38 million people are infected with the virus and this figure could double by 2020. And closer to home, the National AIDS Council in Papua New Guinea (PNG) announced in May 2006 that there were at least 100.000 cases within the country. So, how has the press in PNG and in other parts of the world responded to such an overwhelming public health crisis? This article looks at the current state of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and then summarizes the findings of three studies that tracked press coverage of the disease in the United States, Southern Africa and PNG from the 1980s.

Recommended Citation

This article was originally published as: Cullen, T. (2006). HIV/AIDS: 25 years of press coverage. Australian Journalism Review. 28/2, 187-198.

Cullen, T. (2006). HIV/AIDS: 25 years of press coverage. Retrieved from

About the Author

Dr Trevor Cullen (PhD) is Professor of Journalism at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Trevor is recognised as a national and international leader in the field of HIV/health Journalism and Journalism education. He has received several University and national teaching and research awards. These include two Australian Government awards – A National Teaching and Learning Fellowship (NTF) and the Australian Award for University Teaching. (AAUT).

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