HIV first emerged in the 1980's. Since then the global HIV pandemic has rarely been out of the news for long. It is still one of the most pressing health challenges facing the world. In the early days of the epidemic little was known about the virus. There was a great deal of fear about how it was spread and many people died from HIV-related illnesses. Today, treatment has revolutionised what it means to live with HIV. Someone with HIV who gets tested, is diagnosed early and is treated effectively will not go on to develop AIDS and instead can live a long life, work, exercise, even have a family if they choose. Despite advances in treatment, social attitudes are changing much more slowly. The media play an important role in communicating to the public what exactly it means to live with HIV today. Understanding the advances in knowledge and treatment around HIV is vital to reporting accurately about HIV. Accurate reporting benefits public health, dispels myths, undermines prejudice and increases understanding. It contributes positively to the way HIV is addressed around the world.