Live from AIDS 2022 in Montreal – Professor Alan Whiteside: Learning from HIV/AIDS and Covid-19: understanding the role of equity, economics, democracy, and the power of communities

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In this crossover episode with AIDS' Existential Moment, recorded during the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada, on July 31st, Jeff Sturchio speaks with Professor Alan Whiteside, Centre for International Governance Innovation Chair emeritus in Global Health Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.  


Professor Whiteside begins with a discussion of new treatments and prevention tools for HIV/AIDS that offer the opportunity for those who have access to enjoy longer and healthier lives. But there are still barriers and challenges related to the social determinants of health that lead to persistent inequalities and make it difficult for some population groups (especially African women) to benefit. He calls for a focus on the “real issues that real people face” and for understanding the ways that power relationships and marginalization affect the health of people living with and at risk of HIV infection. He also discusses the interactions of the HIV and Covid-19 epidemics in recent years and the additional strains this has placed on health systems and the economics of the global HIV response. Professor Whiteside concludes with observations on the need for leadership and the power of communities in fashioning sustained responses to the impact of HIV/AIDS.  


Born in Kenya but raised in Swaziland (now Eswatini), Alan Whiteside is an internationally recognized academic and AIDS researcher. He was the founding executive director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is also professor emeritus in the Wilfrid Laurier University School of International Policy and Governance in Waterloo, Ontario and editor-in-chief of the African Journal of AIDS Research. His most recent book is HIV & AIDS: A Very Short Introduction, second edition (Oxford University Press 2016).
Katherine E. Bliss
Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center
Jeffrey Sturchio
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Global Health Policy Center