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Author Podcast: Stephen Lewis

abstract:Stephen Lewis is a consummate orator, which stems as he says from his days in the trenches as a "feckless politician" when he was NDP leader of the opposition in Ontario, Canada. A strong socialist reformer, his work took on global proportions when he became the Canadian UN Ambassador and Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Lewis has been working to help the continent since. His speeches are peppered with names, places, and people from all parts of Africa - from people in the smallest village in Malawi to the leaders and heads of state worldwide. His 2005 Massey Lecture became the basis for a best-selling book, Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa has won many awards and accolades. The following presentation was sponsored by the Whistler Social Sustainability Society as part of their speaker series. Excerpts are with the permission of Stephen Lewis and the Stephen Lewis Foundation which funds community-based initiatives in Africa. TIME magazine listed Stephen Lewis as one of the ‘100 most influential people in the world.’ He was made a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2002.

article:

March 04, 2009
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Interview Transcript

BookBuffet: This is Paula Shackleton podcasting for bookbuffet.com and today I am presenting excerpts from a talk given by Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Stephen’s best-selling book, Race Against Time has won many awards and accolades. He is Professor in Global Health, Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University and Senior Advisor to the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. The following presentation was sponsored by the Whistler Social Sustainability Society as part of their Speaker Series. Excerpts are with the permission of Stephen Lewis and the Stephen Lewis Foundation which funds community-based initiatives in Africa in four areas: for the support of women, assistance to orphans and AIDS-affected children, the grandmothers of Africa who are overwhelmingly caring for survivers of AIDS, and various education and support associations helping those affected by HIV/AIDS. Some of the stories Prof Lewis recounts relate quite graphically his experience and personal encountrers with the victims of disease, conflict and rape. TIME magazine listed Stephen Lewis as one of the ‘100 most influential people in the world.’

SL: Thank you emensely for so warm and generous and introduction. As was indicated by the Mayor, I served as Canada's representative to the United Natikons...

So I thought what I'd like to do, if I could, is to give you a kind of optics on where we stand globally [with AIDS/HIV] and the reality about the pandemic is that it is still outstripping our capacity to respond. It's pretty frightening what's happening with this pandemic. We can't seem to turn it around!

There are now roughly 2 million people in treatment. [as at Oct 2007] The receive what we call anti-retroviral drugs which impede the progression of the virus and allow people to be restored to, ah, full health. Well, to full health minus the fact that they're still HIV infected but they can live a productive and continuing life for many years. We don't know how many years, because treatment has only been available since 1996. And what we call triple combination therapy; three drugs in one tablet taken twice a day, has only been available for the last very few years. Of the 2 million infected people across the globe, 1.5-1.6 million people are in Africa.

However, what makes my heart sink...

[Transcript in progress - please listen to mp3 or access via your RSS reader until completed]

Other BookBuffet Podcasts You May Enjoy

Here is a list of the interviews BookBuffet has conducted. (Click on the titles for full feature and audio link.) They number over 100 segments and include literary icons as well as emerging authors. The book list encompasses fiction, nonfiction titles, as well as translated works which are described by the English translators from the author's original language of say: Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. We hope you enjoy listening to the interviews and become inspired to read their books.

If you are a writer and would like to appear on BookBuffet, drop us an email with a description of your book and a note about yourself to info @bookbuffet.com attention: Paula Shackleton.

 

 

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