Social Drivers Working Group

Social Drivers Working Group

After 25 years of AIDS it has become abundantly clear that the epidemic thrives on social inequality and marginalization, at the root of which are imbalances in power relations.

These imbalances often characterize gender, race/ethnic, and intergenerational relations, and conditions that sway cultural norms about sexuality, thereby keeping so many poor or left out. Such power and social imbalances take place in the context of, and are often perpetuated by, aspects of globalization, increased rural to urban migration, anxieties and realities related to our youth-dominated global population, religious tensions, and heightened militarization, among other current social and political trends.

The Social Drivers Group is a collaborative effort to examine the key political, social, and economic “drivers” behind the epidemic. Co-convened by Geeta Rao Gupta, President of the International Center for Research on Women, and William Fisher, Director of Clark University’s International Development, Community and Education Department, the group aims to understand the social changes brought about by HIV and AIDS and simultaneously look at how social change has impacted HIV and AIDS.

The Social Drivers Group intends to generate analyses of the multiple, overlapping, and ever-changing structural factors that influence the spread of the disease, both currently and in the long-term. The Social Driver Group’s analyses will have practical applications; they will suggest recommendations for programmatic and policy responses, including an analytical framework of what might be effective in different settings.