Papers take a closer look at HIV vaccine breakthrough

  • Kim Johnson - 2 November 2012

Two comprehensive articles in the City Press and The Sunday Independent afford greater insight into the HIV vaccine breakthrough, which made news last week.

In comparison to necessarily perfunctory reports sprinkled throughout last week’s dailies, City Press and The Sunday Independent used the space and time afforded by their weekend publication status to discuss the study at length, providing the public with insight into the groundbreaking discovery.

Despite factually incorrect references to an “Aids vaccine” (the vaccine would work to prevent HIV, not the syndrome it causes) the two papers did a sterling job of explaining the what, the why and the who of the study, with The Sunday Independent also shedding light on the study’s methodology and ethical safeguards.

The quick, clean and lucid incorporation of the methodology and ethics that underpinned this study is refreshing given the news media’s tendency to jump the gun and condemn HIV-related studies as unethical, without having a clear understanding of the ethics procedures and processes involved in scientific trials.

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“The quick, clean and lucid incorporation of the methodology and ethics that underpinned this study is refreshing”