In our upcoming Skill Building Session for the Advocates in Global Health Program, we’ll be exploring the concepts of media, advocacy, and global health. We thought that it would be helpful to engage with one specific example of this theme and deconstruct some of the perspectives that are prevalent in the public sphere. For this example, we chose the HIV/AIDS action programme, due to its global applicability, the amount of research capacity and the funding it’s received since the 1980’s, and primarily because the push for the campaign was largely a result of ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’.
This is a particularly helpful example of looking at the stagnation of politics in addressing health concerns, as well as looking at the power of activism at changing the direction of public health interventions, especially in marginalized populations. This is also a timely topic due to our proximity to World AIDS Day on December 1st!
We are excited to introduce two particular short films, one directed by Lisa Russell called “STOP AIDS: WHAT WILL YOU DO?” This was filmed in 2006 at the International AIDS conference in Toronto, and looks at the promises that have been made by governments and international health organizations, and the gaps in action for Universal Access to anti-retrovirals. The second film is a promotional video for the Global Fund, called “The Global Fund: 10 years of impact”, this video shows clips of prominent political leaders and advocates, including Bill Gates, Bono, and Jeffery Sachs, describing the leaps in health and development that have been a result of the Global Fund.
These two films were chosen due to the contrasting views they present on the campaign to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.
We hope that students will take away from this session that advocacy is such an important factor in achieving global health equity; one that is achievable by anyone who wishes to speak up.
To learn more about the Advocates in Global Health Program please visit our website or contact Taq Bhandal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
*For those of you who are unfamiliar with the depth of political inactivity towards the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the 1980’s, we would encourage you to watch a lecture given by Gregg Gonsalves, one of the founding members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), at Harvard University – http://bcove.me/7r3v2yws.