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M.E. John Seminar

Posted: September 20, 2017

M.E. John Seminar Series with Brian King, Associate Professor of Geography September 29, 2017 2:30-3:30pm 215 Armsby Building

“Managed HIV and Food Security in South Africa”

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken on a new course in recent years with expanded
access to antiretroviral therapy in the Global South. While this transition is
extending the lives of individuals for years or even decades, it is also creating
new relationships between citizens and the state that are driven by resource
needs specific to HIV management. This presentation details findings from an
ongoing research project in northeast South Africa that is examining the social
and ecological impacts of HIV/AIDS. While initiating care for HIV-positive patients
on antiretroviral therapy, clinics and other health care agencies advocate
particular behavioral practices that challenge existing cultural norms and spatial
economies, particularly in the realm of nutrition and food access. The importance
of accessing certain foods is advocated as necessary for maintaining
bodily health, yet this form of therapeutic citizenship confronts historic systems
of inequality produced through spatial segregation. The consequence is that the
coupling of drug provision with public health interventions produces uneven opportunities for health management that are mediated by cultural, ecological,
and political systems in the era of managed HIV.

Brian King is Associate Professor of Geography and Faculty Associate at the Population Research Institute at the Pennsylvania State University. He is also a 2017 National Academy of Science Kavli Fellow and Research Associate at the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town. His research concentrates upon several topics, particularly the impacts of conservation and development in Southern Africa, social and environmental justice, and the intersections between livelihoods, health and environment. Brian is the PI on a NSF CAREER project that is examining how social and ecological systems in South Africa adjust in response to HIV/AIDS.