“Divine Intervention,” HIV/AIDS Drug Investigative Report, to Win Top Healthcare Journalism Award This Month

 This just in from the Center for Public Integrity  " Divine Intervention: U.S. AIDS Policy Abroad ," a year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), received a first-place award from the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ).   The Centers winning entry in the online and trade journals category disclosed that ideology often trumped science in the Bush administration's $15 billion initiative for care, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. The investigation featured 16 country stories and profiles, field interviews, stories on generic drugs, HIV prevention programs and the impact of AIDS on women. The Center filed two dozen Freedom of Information Act requests as well as FOIA lawsuits against the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and Department of Health and Human Services.   The breadth and impact of the [Centers Investigation] was astonishing, wrote AHCJ award judges, and yet also provided human stories that illustrated how this policy has affected the most vulnerable around the world. Judges also noted the work of ICIJ director Wendell Rawls, who coordinated the year-long investigation of researchers and writers located throughout the world. It took creativity, stamina and persistence to produce.   ICIJ, represented by ICIJ reporter Marina Walker Guevara, will be recognized at a March 17 awards luncheon in Los Angeles at AHCJs Health Journalism 2007 conference , where she will address a panel on the issues covered in Divine Intervention.   The AHCJ awards recognize the best health reporting in nine categories covering print, broadcast and online media. In only its third year, the contest drew nearly 400 entries. The AHCJ created the awards over concerns that special interest groups were seeking to sway media coverage by awarding large prizes for coverage of medical and health issues."