The silence at AIDS 2020 Virtual

Reprinted from Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal.

For decades, the International AIDS Conference has successfully convened a massive biannual meeting, bringing together a diverse community of scientists, researchers, activists and officials, as well as a smattering of celebrities. At a turning point with a battered global strategy and the devastation caused by a second global pandemic, COVID-19, the global AIDS movement has never been in more urgent need of such frank and diverse conversations. Sadly, the conference which launched online this week has never been more divided: while scientists and UN officials gather in the official meeting, AIDS 2020 Virtual, community activists have broken away to hold a parallel conference, HIV 2020.

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Why are we failing to end HIV?

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Photo: DFID – UK Department for International Development/flickr, CC BY 2.0

Reprinted from Med in Switzerland #21, Medicus Mundi International

As the International AIDS Conference holds its first virtual meeting, it’s time to consider the politics that create gaps in data for the fight against HIV, writes Sara L.M. Davis

This year was supposed to be a celebration – the year we reached the milestones set by the UN General Assembly to end HIV by 2030. But as the International AIDS Conference, the world’s largest meeting of HIV scientists, officials and activists, convenes online, it is clear that the world is far off track. Why? Continue reading

Health aid accountability and the politics of data

Screenshot 2020-07-16 at 17.37.54This webinar was organized on June 26, 2020 by the Kampala Initiative: Challenging Realities of “Aid”. Speakers included Dr. John Waters (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities) and Hayden Barthelmy (GrenCHAP), civil society activists from the Caribbean who successfully conducted an HIV study in partnership with communities and researchers; Dr. Carolyn Gomes, winner of the UN Human Rights Prize and Alternate Board Member representing Developing Countries NGO Delegation on the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; and Sara (Meg) Davis.

Click here for the slides and here for the recording.

Right On 4: Meet the speakers

For this episode, I reached out to two good friends who are wonderful data nerds and activists, Shirin Heidari and Marina Smelyanskaya, to talk about gender, inequality and data. When I invited Malu Marin, a longtime activist for the rights of migrant workers in Asia, she urged me to talk to her friend Jolovan Wham instead – “a very committed activist working directly with migrant workers”. Jolovan has come under more than his fair share of pressure for his advocacy for free speech – so especially grateful to him for his time, and to all three of this episode’s experts. Continue reading

Right On 4: Who will be left uncounted in data on COVID-19?

How are inequality and discrimination shaping data about COVID-19, and who is being left invisible and uncounted? On the launch of her new book on data and human rights, Sara (Meg) Davis speaks to social worker and rights activist Jolovan Wham in Singapore, who describes how thousands of migrant workers are being detained in overcrowded dorms, and were missed by the official mobile contact tracing app. In Geneva, Dr. Shirin Heidari (GENDRO) and Marina Smelyanskaya (Stop TB Partnership) address the global need for feminist principles and respect for human rights to gather data on COVID-19. Davis’ new book, The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health is available from Cambridge University Press.

The Uncounted book is out

Fig. 8.1 CVC site visit

Photo courtesy of Estandar Video y Media

The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health publishes today with Cambridge University Press. It’s been a long journey to get here, and you can read the first chapter here. For a 20% discount, type in DAVIS2020 at checkout. A more affordable paperback will be out later this year.

 

Book launch: The Uncounted, June 11th

IMG_3912 I can’t quite believe this is finally happening, but…my new book, The Uncounted: Politics of Data in Global Health, will launch with a virtual conversation between me and Ryan Whitacre on Thursday, June 11th, from 16:00 – 17:00 CET. The webinar is co-sponsored by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute; GENDRO; and the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action.

Register here to get the Zoom link, and you can order the hardcover and ebook here — a more affordable paperback will be out in a few months.

 

Right On Podcast 3: About the speakers

We meet four inspiring women in Right On Podcast 3: Is violence against women (including trans women) on the rise? — speaking to you from Kenya to Bangkok to New York City. Here’s a bit more about them and their work. The conversation was hosted by Meg Davis in Geneva. Continue reading

Right On Podcast 3: Is violence against women (including trans women) on the rise?

Christine Alai PIC Kaplan Margaret Prem Pramoj

Tina Alai (Kenyan human rights lawyer), Karyn Kaplan (Asia Catalyst), Margaret Mbira Omondi (Women Concerns Center, Kenya) and Prem Pramoj Na Ayutthaya (Rainbow Sky Association, Thailand) meet online to compare notes on how COVID-19 is fueling violence against women, from girls in evacuation camps in rural Kisumu, Kenya, to transgender women isolated in lockdown in urban Bangkok, Thailand. They found some surprising commonalities. Community-based activists and human rights advocates like themselves are putting marginalized communities at the center of their work, and finding ways to work together, using international human rights standards, to find a way out of this crisis.