Pence, Putin, Mbeki and their HIV/AIDS-Related Crimes Against Humanity: Call for Social Justice and Behavioral Science Advocacy

Kalichman, S.C.; Pence, M.; Putin, V.; Mbeki, T.

Aids and Behavior 21(4): 963-967


ISSN/ISBN: 1573-3254
PMID: 28130629
DOI: 10.1007/s10461-017-1695-8
Document Number: 244083
Indiana, a large rural state in the Midwestern United States, suffered the worst North American HIV outbreak among injection drug users in years. The Indiana state government under former Governor and current US Vice President Mike Pence fueled the HIV outbreak by prohibiting needle/syringe exchange and failed to take substantive action once the outbreak was identified. This failure in public health policy parallels the HIV epidemics driven by oppressive drug laws in current day Russia and is reminiscent of the anti-science AIDS denialism of 1999-2007 South Africa. The argument that Russian President Putin and former South African President Mbeki should be held accountable for their AIDS policies as crimes against humanity can be extended to Vice President Pence. Social and behavioral scientists have a responsibility to inform the public of HIV prevention realities and to advocate for evidence-based public health policies to prevent future outbreaks of HIV infection.

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