Melissa Meyer

Project coordinator: HIV/Aids and the Media Project

Twenty-five-year-old Melissa Meyer has a tough job. The HIV/Aids epidemic is still an issue of national importance, but news coverage is waning. As coordinator of the HIV/Aids and the Media Project, managed jointly by the Anova Health Institute and the journalism and media studies programme at Wits, Meyer wants to put HIV/Aids under the spotlight, even if it isn't "breaking news�. Luckily, this is where the dynamic Meyer really comes into her own. Having studied journalism, politics and graphic design, she is able to encourage journalists to provide consistent, critical, informed and accurate coverage. Meyer's sharp mind and racy writing style compel readers to follow journAids, the website she maintains. She also influences storylines on local soap operas through her discussion forums. In addition, her book, The Politics of Aids Denialism: South Africa's failure to respond, which she wrote with Pieter Fourie, forces South Africans to find their voice. � Glynnis Underhill