Yale School of Nursing Hosts Talk on AIDS Epidemic in South Africa

The authors of “Shattered Dreams? An Oral History of the South African AIDS Epidemic,” will speak Thursday about that country’s struggle with a disease that has killed more than one million South African men, women, and children.

The talk will be at 4:30 p.m. at the Anlyan Center, 300 Cedar Street.

Ronald Bayer and Gerald Oppenheimer will discuss how nurses and doctors on the front lines of the battle with AIDS in South Africa have confronted the rationing of antiretroviral therapy and the limits imposed by what they described as that government’s halting rollout of drugs.

Bayer is a professor and co-director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Oppenheimer is an associate professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences and a professor at Brooklyn College & the Graduate Center at City University of New York.

The Center for International Nursing Scholarship and Education at Yale School of Nursing is sponsoring the event in conjunction with the Connecticut AIDS Education and Training Center.

“Shattered Dreams?” is based on extensive interviews with more than 90 nurses and doctors from medical centers, offices, and clinics throughout South Africa. The authors said AIDS has indelibly marked the era since Apartheid’s end in 1994, “exacting an enormous toll on South Africa’s Black community.”

Gerald Friedland, M.D., professor of medicine at epidemiology and public health, and principal investigator of the Sizongoba project, along with Terri Clark, lecturer at Yale School of Nursing who oversees clinical midwifery internships at the Church of Scotland Hospital, will participate in a panel discussion following the presentation.

Bayer and Oppenheimer said the epidemic has had a devastating effect on the country, exacerbated by material scarcity, by the consequences of the global power of the international pharmaceutical industry, and by the unexpected resistance of President Thabo Mbeki to the distribution of antiretroviral drugs in the public health sector on which so many with AIDS depend.

Yale University has been actively engaged in the clinical response to the South African AIDS epidemic since 2002 through the Sizongoba project at Church of Scotland Hospital, Tugela Ferry, Kwa Zulu Natal, and collaborations with the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine in Durban.

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