NPF’s J2J program arm has just completed training for 20 journalists who now are fanning out to cover AIDS Vaccine 2011, the international gathering of scientists seeking a vaccine against HIV. Over two days here in Bangkok, Thailand, our fellows heard from 20 researchers, most of whom are making important presentations at the conference. The briefings and extensive question-and-answer sessions helped prepare our group to report on the news from the conference, including an important development that moves the field significantly ahead.
The topic of Alzheimer’s disease has always been a personal one for CNN.com Health producer Elizabeth Landau. Her grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s, and the effects of her disease took a toll on Landau’s entire family. Landau’s grandmother passed away in 2007, and Landau has been interested in reporting on Alzheimer’s research ever since.
Landau earned her master’s in journalism from Columbia University before starting out with CNN as a Master’s Fellow in 2007. She returned in 2008 after interning for Dow Jones and writing for law360.com, and was promoted to CNN.com health writer in June that same year. In May, she participated in the NPF program Alzheimer’s Issues 2011, which focused on ethical issues, global aging and the personal cost to care-givers.
Thomson Reuters correspondent Sui-lee Wee works in a country where health issues are at the forefront of the public discussion and a matter of international scrutiny. Sui-Lee started out covering the Southeast Asian stock markets before completing her master’s degree in business journalism at New York University in 2008. She now covers politics and general news in China, but also deals with human rights and health issues.
This is a guest post by Kenny Goldberg, health reporter for KPBS News in San Diego. He is a former J2J fellow.
The results of three new studies about the effectiveness of daily use of the medication tenofovir, Truvada and other drugs to prevent transmission of HIV are impressive. The idea that a pill could act as a prophylactic against the spread of the virus has been a longtime dream.
But as anyone who’s been covering the epidemic knows, when it comes to antiretroviral drugs, there is no free lunch. All medications have side effects. As journalists responsible for reporting on advances in the field, we need to communicate those risks and put them in their proper context.
Recently, J2J fellow Jasvinder Sehgal sent us work he had done on the crippling impact of tobacco usage in India. He wrote us that the story was produced on the occasion of World No tobacco Day (31 March 2011) and was called “Asia Calling.” We found the work very interesting and wanted to share it with you. We also asked him some follow-up questions and he replied via email. His answers have been slightly edited.