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World AIDS Day: Debates, Research Findings and Film Screenings

LIDC members are sharing their AIDS-related research at a series of events to mark World AIDS Day on 1 December. They are highlighting work on diverse topics, including HIV/AIDS and rape, improving HIV prevention and community-based responses. Tackling HIV/AIDS remains one of the world’s most urgent challenges and LIDC members are investigating how it can be understood and addressed by different sectors, including law, epidemiology and education. According to UNAIDS, 33 million people are living with HIV and there were two million HIV-related deaths in 2007. This year the theme of World AIDS Day, an annual event which began in 1988, is leadership and its motto is "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise".
Diverse events
There will be several types of events to cater for many different groups, from academics and donors to activists and the public. The programme began when academics and students spoke about their varying HIV/AIDS-related interests during a discussion at Birkbeck on Wednesday 26 November. On 1 December Dr Philippe Mayaud, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), will introduce World AIDS Day at LSHTM during an event entitled: HIV/AIDS Prevention Gaps: Whose Responsibility? Whose Role? His presentation will be followed by a screening of Corn, Cattle, Coconuts and Condoms - a film based on research conducted in Tanzania. In additon, results from an Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme in rural Tanzania will be shared at a seminar on 10 December. Dr Anna Foss, of LSHTM, will deliver a presentation (organised by the LSHTM Gender Violence & Health Centre) about HIV/AIDS and Rape on 4 December. 
Education and HIV/AIDS
On 1 December The Institute of Education (IoE) will host an event on Education, HIV and International Development with speakers from Oxfam, ActionAid, Marie Stopes International and IoE. Professor Elaine Unterhalter, of IoE, is co-editor of Gender Equality HIV and Aids: A Challenge for the Education Sector - one of the titles which will be launched at the event. She said: "The book has been written by a varied group of social researchers, policy analysts, NGO activists, and teachers from Africa and Asia, and it looks conceptually and empirically at the compelling need to reduce girls' and boys' vulnerability to HIV and AIDS, change behaviour, and challenge some of the unequal gender relations that are driving the epidemic. While the book is critical of an approach that sees school simply as a social vaccine against AIDS, and does show how schools sometimes reproduce unequal gender relations, it also demonstrates that schools and education projects can and do allow children and adults to question gendered power relations and develop new understandings and expressions of sexuality and social relations. Schools can thus help develop a sense of self-criticism and connection that will contribute to new policy, teacher insights and shifts in learner relations. While the scale of the epidemic is a matter of grave concern the creativity of people in confronting it lends the book a sense of guarded optimism". 
By Guy Collender, Communications Officer, LIDC
Full programme of events
Individual entries for all of the events can be accessed via LIDC's December Events page.
Click here for a full list (Word file) of the many World AIDS Day events at LSHTM and two at Birkbeck (organised by Evidence for Action, Realising Rights, and Sexual and Reproductive Health & HIV Research Programme Consortia in collaboration with LSHTM students, LSHTM Library and Archives Service, and LSHTM Gender Violence & Health Centre)
Click here for a full list (pdf) of the events organised by LSHTM's Gender Violence & Health Centre to mark 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (25 November - 10 December)