Since the emergence of the deadly HIV pandemic over 30 years ago, advocates and stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have implemented diverse tactics to generate unprecedented media, public and political attention to the crisis (UNAIDS, 2011a). This paper examines some of the advocacy strategies undertaken to position HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan African and concludes that the pandemic has reached the peak of its attention as a public health and development agenda on the continent. The post-2015 development agenda, which does not include a specific goal on HIV/AIDS, also raises concerns that public attention to the pandemic might diminish. However, the paper argues that AIDS is still an ‘unfinished agenda’ of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to sustain public attention in the future, advocates need to develop a new narrative for its rebranding and vigorously pursue an integrated and innovative social mobilization agenda.
Key words: Issue attention, media advocacy, strategic positioning, HIV/AIDS.
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