Syndemics are synergistic epidemics typically defined as two or more epidemics or disease clusters interacting biologically and exacerbated by social, economic, and environmental conditions. They have complex etiologies and require innovative, multi-pronged interventions. In this lecture, I will examine the syndemics framework through two classic syndemics -- HIV and Tuberculosis in Africa and Obesity and Diabetes in the United States. This will lead into a discussion of the syndemic of HIV and methamphetamine abuse among men who have sex with men, which I have been studying for the last decade. I will close by explaining how studying syndemics influenced my decision to teach public health and my multi-disciplinary approach to pedagogy, both in the classroom and as a research program.
Speaker Biography - Theodore K. Gideonse
Theodore K. Gideonse
Theodore K. Gideonse is medical and psychological anthropologist interested in how political and social processes impact mental and physical health, particularly among problem substance users, the homeless, and people with chronic illnesses like HIV. His academic writing has appeared in PLoS One, The International Journal of Drug Policy, Ethos, and the edited volume Foundations of Biosocial Health: Stigma and Illness Interactions. He received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global HIV/AIDS Prevention Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School University, and prior to entering academia, Dr. Gideonse worked as a journalist, editor, and literary agent.
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