Panel discussion

ONLINE - The Backlash against Global Health: Brazil, the AIDS Pandemic and Bolsonaro, 2007-2020

January 28 | 18:00

Please note that this event takes place online only.
External interested parties can register for the ZOOM event
at the following address and will be sent the login details:

This presentation will examine the decline of the AIDS Program in Brazil, the Latin American country most affected by the epidemic and for many years a model in Global Health. Up to 2007 the program was based on an alliance between the government and health activists and the supported life-saving drugs as public goods rather than commodities. The backlash was a result of a progressive government trying to appease neoliberals, a fragmented left, authoritarian and religious conservative political forces that came into power in 2016 and the contradictory influence of multilateral and bilateral agencies. The decline of anti-AIDS policies in Brazil also coincided with the end of the exceptional status AIDS enjoyed in many countries and organization since the late 1980s.

With: Marcos Cueto (Science historian at Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

This panel discussion is organised jointly with Prof. Dr. Patricia Clavin, the Modern History Seminar and the Latin American Seminar of the History Faculty of Oxford University

As part of the series

Essential to Society? Franco-German and European Perspectives on the Social Repercussions of the Crisis

We are living through an unprecedented global health crisis. COVID-19 and the ensuing   state of affairs have profoundly unsettled our social structures, affecting not only our mental and societal well-being, but also the state of our political and financial frameworks. It has retraced new boundaries between private and public life and intensified the presence of technology in our daily lives. It has compelled us to reconsider our relation to the sciences and the environment. In recent months politicians, researchers and the media offered attempts, ranging from apocalyptic prophecies to ecological utopias, to imagine what the world could look like once the crisis subsides. Yet not only the future, but also the current repercussions of the crisis on diverse facets of our society must urgently be reflected upon.

It is in this context that the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, a Franco-German centre for research in the social sciences and humanities with a special focus on Europe’s transformations and position in a global world, seeks to open the discussion to the wider public by launching an online seminar. This discussion series will bring together researchers from a wide range of fields, such as history, philosophy, sociology, political sciences, anthropology, cultural studies, public health and ecology, in order to consider the effects of the pandemic on our society in medias res. We believe the past can assist us in understanding whether the present crisis consists of an exceptional event or an extended transmutation, whether it may strengthen or disrupt our social structures and political organisations, and whether or not it will lead to a genuine revaluation of what is considered "relevant" or "essential" to society. The analysis of society by social sciences and the humanities in times of crisis may permit us, then, not only to take stock of that which transpires, but also to tackle imminent social transformations.


Noa Levin
noa.levin  ( at )


History Faculty of Oxford University