Lost in Translation

poz-logo-09For the September 2009 issue of POZ, I wrote an article titled “Lost in Translation” discussing media coverage of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community.

I took to task the mainstream media and the Latino media. They ignore the problem completely or provide too little or not the right kind of coverage.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The article described in detail the opinions of blacks and whites but included only a few mentions about Latinos. This kind of media coverage is typical when it comes to Latinos and HIV/AIDS. Latinos shouldn’t have to read between the lines of media coverage to receive the information they need about the virus.

“Media coverage is a critical tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It can help educate people about the disease, and by doing so it can help reduce the stigma associated with it and inspire people to get tested and linked to care. Poor media coverage impedes awareness efforts and can therefore lead to further spread of the virus. Increasing media coverage on Latinos and HIV/AIDS could help the community stay virus-free.”

As I’ve mentioned before, I strongly consider HIV/AIDS part of the larger universe of LGBT-related issues. So, it feels a bit strange to take myself to task over an article with my byline, but I must.

Examples of coverage that I cited included an article from a black newspaper, articles from Latina magazine and a documentary from CNN. None of the examples that I cited in my article were LGBT-related.

That was not a deliberate omission. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes the obvious things slip by us. I should have dug a bit deeper.

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