In 1989 USAID had just discovered that the HIVvirus had far-reaching implications for societies. We pitched them a project, which I, as a social psychologist, headed.
How is work on AIDS different?
AIDS breeds in the fractures in society and gets its strength from inequality, women’s disempowerment, poverty and illiteracy.
What’s the core strength of work on AIDS?
Unlike other diseases, AIDS has found spokespeople and generated a movement. Activists have been able to shape scientific research.
And the major problems?
We’re getting word on the first trials of many scientific ventures. And frankly, we’re nowhere near finding a solution to the virus.
How important are partnerships in the global South in dealing with this?
Very important. For example Brazil can teach us a lot about rolling out anti-retroviral drugs. But ultimately local activism is the key.
Where is India’s position in this venture?
There are some excellent...