Speaker: Gregg Gonsalves, Research Scholar in Law and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School
Who gets sick? Who gets well? Who lives and who dies? Public health experts and practitioners have long subscribed to the idea that health has social determinants that drive susceptibility to disease, accessibility to medical care, and speed or slow progress to sickness and death.
In the 1980s and 1990s, as AIDS ravaged New York City, it was clear that who lived and who died was a political choice and that decisions in city halls, in state capitols and in Washington, DC were determining the fate of tens of thousands of Americans.
Groups like the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) connected the dots, and demonstrated that what determined health wasn’t a set of abstract social and economic factors, but explicit political decisions by our leaders.
What do the lessons of the AIDS epidemic tell us about how to deal with the health crises of today, from the roll-back of the Affordable Care Act to new threats like Ebola and Zika?
Gregg Gonsalves will address these questions and talk about how AIDS activism provides a way to envision health as a quest for social justice, not just cures for diseases and illness.
Gregg Gonsalves was a member of ACT UP New York and a co-founder of the Treatment Action Group (featured in the Academy Award nominated documentary, How to Survive a Plague). He is now an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Public Health and a Lecturer and Research Scholar at the Yale Law School. In 2012, he co-founded the Global Health Justice Partnership, a new initiative between Yale’s public health and law schools set up to explore the interface between human rights and public health, social justice and medicine and train a new generation of activists and scholars for the challenges ahead.
Brown Bag Lunch Series