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Reinventing HIV/AIDS and health programs in Africa

  • Broadcast in Health
Global Health Leaders

Global Health Leaders


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This week Dr. Elvira will be speaking with David Patient; activist, author, and South Africa’s longest-living HIV-positive person. They will discuss the state of HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, donor-led development, and other topics.

David Patient was diagnosed with HIV in 1983.  While living in the USA at the time he was highly active in the movement to demand treatment and research for those living with HIV, and assisted in setting up numerous programmes and agencies, for which he received a Presidential Acknowledgment in 1994, from President Clinton.

Patient has also been part of several studies of so-called “long-term non-progressors” which are trying to find the common factors in a group of people who have managed to maintain immune function despite 20 years or more of being infected with HIV.  The findings of these studies of long-term non-progressors are the basis for the book Positive Health.

Currently Patient lives in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa, from where he runs Empowerment Concepts, a program design and training business started in 1995 with his partner Neil Orr, a research psychologist. Together they design and present training courses for a variety of groups: community training on issues of HIV and AIDS, food security, and positive living wWellness for both those living with HIV, and people in general); and corporate training in leadership development, personal empowerment and wellness.

Patient and Orr have published several books, including Positive Health, Choices (an up-to-date book for ordinary people about HIV/AIDS), Sex Secrets (life skills for teens and young adults, and The Healer Inside You (an at-home therapy protocol based on psycho-neuro-immunology).