By Erik Swartout ’17
This years PLU Symposium was stacked full of some amazing speakers and influential people from all over the world. One of those speakers was Dr. Adia Benton who is an Anthropology professor at Northwestern University. She is currently studying public health and medical anthropology. Her passion for helping others is very evident and prevalent across all her areas of work.
Adia Benton was interviewed about her book’s title, “HIV Exceptionalism,” and what that term means.
“HIV exceptionalism is a term that is widely used to refer to the fact that HIV/AIDS is an exceptional disease requiring an exceptional response. What that means, in effect, is that whatever seems to work in terms of social, political, economic, and health interventions can be applied to HIV as a problem. It means thinking of HIV as something that crosses many sectors—for example, gender, health, economics, and politics. And the way that HIV exceptionalism manifests itself in bureaucratic institutions is that there are staff, funding, programs, etc., that are primarily devoted to HIV as a public health problem, and as a social problem.”
Below is the full story with live reaction to Dr. Benton’s presentation at the 7th annual Wang Center PLU Symposium.
Photo credit: Curtis Allen