(New York, New York, March 12, 2009) On Tuesday, March 10, the Appignani Bioethics Center, the Population Council and the Guttmacher Institute hosted a panel discussion on “Feminization of HIV & Macroeconomic Policies.” The event featured a range of experts on science, ethics and policy who illustrated how HIV victimizes women in particular. It was held in connection with the fifty-third session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (March 2-13, 2009).
“This panel brought together some brilliant minds to share ideas, research, teachings and arguments related to the HIV/Aids epidemic and its impact on women and girls,” said panel moderator Dr. Ana Lita, director of the Appignani Bioethics Center.
Discussions explored the social, economic, and legal aspects of the HIV epidemic, and the panelists explained that to truly understand the disease’s feminization it is necessary to consider how macroeconomic policies might improve women’s access to vital resources and political influence.
Dr. Lita noted in her introductory remarks that “HIV/AIDS does not stop at the borders of developed countries, and as one of a primarily sexually transmitted illness in the age of globalization, it spreads rapidly across the globe…. Some of the HIV/AIDS-related bioethical and policy issues of concern to developed countries remain the same for developing countries. However, in ethically-important ways they are dwarfed by concerns over drug prices, intellectual property rights and affordable access to essential HIV/AIDS drugs for the impoverished populations of infected people in such countries.”
Panelists included Dr. Helen Epstein, who has reported on the HIV/AIDS crisis for The New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine and other outlets; Dr. Anrundh K. Jain, the senior director of policy and regional programs in the International Programs Division of the Population Council; Dr. Sean Philpott, director of science and ethics at the Global Campaign for Microbicides; and Heather Boonstra, a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute. Dr. Charles Debrovner, associate director of the Appignani Bioethics Center and co-chair of the Center’s Advisory Board, co-moderated.
The event was held at the Church Center for the United Nations.
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