HIV/AIDS is the most serious pandemic humankind has ever faced. In some communities, particularly in the developing world, its impact has been devastating. The search for a cure or a vaccine has been a twenty-five year roller-coaster of optimism followed by despair.
It’s unlikely, too, that this search will bear fruit for the millions already infected. However, it is in the realm of social scientists that the much hope rests. For in understanding how humans can change behaviour, we have a chance of controlling the spread of this devastating illness — although education and behavioural change are not easy options.
Professor Hazel Barrett is one such social scientist. Head of Department at Coventry University’s Department of Geography, Environment and Disaster Management, her research interests are in health and poverty in the developing world, including HIV/AIDS and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Helen is also Associate Dean (Applied Research), Faculty of Business, Environment and Society.