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Press Release: ICAAP 11 ASAP Symposium Session "Dennis Altman & the Importance of Social and Political Science Research


Professor Dennis Altman has been a longtime human rights advocate, stressing the importance of including social and political science research in the response to HIV and AIDS. His work has covered many issues relevant to the response to the epidemic. “This is a particularly important topic at a time when there is a declining concern with AIDS globally and there are significant shifts in the balance of economic and cultural power to the Asia Pacific region”, Professor Altman said. At the same time that traditional donor countries are cutting back on their contributions to international development assistance, there is a shift in political and economic power to groupings such as the G20. “But there is little sign that this group will see AIDS as a major concern” Professor Altman lamented. “These shifts are creating new nationalisms and could further weaken support for human rights and protection of
marginalised and stigmatised groups” he said.

Professor Altman's work on the subject of HIV and AIDS is significant and the speakers in this session will attempt to touch upon a few key areas of priority. What role does social and political research currently play in the global response to HIV generally and the Asia Pacific region specifically? What are the links between social and political research and activism? How are universities in Asia and the Pacific currently preparing social and political scientists to undertake research, including on and with key populations? And, what is the importance of conferencing, such as the ICAAP, to the sharing and cultivating of ideas in social and political sciences?

The Session will chaired by Dr Werasit Sittitrai, Co-Chair of the 11 ICAAP and member of the new ASAP Thai Foundation Board, ASAPF. Dr Sittitrai also has a distinguished history working in the response to HIV and AIDS including Director, Policy and Strategy Office, Thai Red Cross Society, an Advisor at the National Research Council of Thailand and, Public Health Commission, Senate of
Thailand, the Chair of the UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (MERG) as well as a former Associate Director of the Policy, Strategy and Research Department at UNAIDS in Geneva.

Professor Dr N M Samuel: President, AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP), Chennai, India
Associate Professor Katsuki Okajima: Ohtani University, Osaka, Japan
Mr Arthur Lim: Alternative Board member of APN+ to the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), Singapore
Professor Irwanto Irwanto: Atma Jaya Catholic University, Jakarta, Indonesia
Ms Justine Sass: UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok, Thailand
Khun Kath Khangpiboon: Thamasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
Professor Dennis Altman in Reply: La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Former President, AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP)
Ms Marina Mahathir: Board Member, Musawah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Session Place: Plenary Hall 2, Queen Sirikit Convention Centre, ICAAP 11

Date and Time: Wednesday 20 November, 2013 from 10:30am to 12noon.

View the Press Release.

For more information – Contact or
Scott Hearnden, Member of the Executive Committee of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP) at