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Elizabeth Pisani’s TED Talk: Sex, Drugs and HIV — Let’s Get Rational

Elizabeth Pisani is an assumption-busting independent researcher and analyst, who has worked in the field of HIV for 15 years in four countries. She believes that the world is failing to understand and manage the realities of HIV. She also shows how politics and “morality” have hogtied funding, and advocates for putting dollars where they can actually make a difference.

In Pisani’s TED Talk, she firstly points out an idea that people get HIV not just because they do stupid things. For most of them, when they are doing stupid things, they have perfectly rational reasons. We both know there are two major ways to spread HIV; sex and drugs. Pisani leads us to see problems behind the sex and drugs. Most of the people in Africa know sex and blood can transfer HIV. They also knowwhere to buy clean needles, but because of gender inequality and poverty, sometimes people choose to “rationalize” things even though they know there is a great chance that they may get HIV. At the end of her speech, she tells us a story about a transgender hooker on the street of Jakarta named lnes. She quotes Ines saying “why is prevalence still rising? It’s all politics. When you get to politics, nothing makes sense”. She believes that everyone has a duty to demand our politicians to make policy based on scientific evidence and on common sense.

-Caiqing Jin(Kelly)
Source: TED Talk