Views from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

tanya abramsky gender norms conversation

Breaking negative attitudes to women is key to tackling HIV – here’s how to do it

Tanya Abramsky, Research Fellow in Epidemiology “Women are supposed to be under men’s superiority in everything … you cannot respond when he says anything. You only have to do what he says”. That’s what one young woman told staff at Raising Voices, a Ugandan violence prevention charity, that she used to think before she became a community activist. Sadly, throughout many parts of the world, such views are still common.  Read more

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In the news to in the clinic: do high profile health stories affect healthcare decisions?

By Anthony Matthews, Research Assistant in Statistical Epidemiology From climate change and GM foods, to saturated fats and vitamin supplements, academic debates played out through the media are nothing new. The UK is fortunate to have so many excellent health and science reporters, and we know their stories can communicate important health messages and have the power to influence the public.  However, what is less clear is how much of an impact high profile health stories can have on public health. Read more

Kitengela health centre. Pharmacy.

How can the private health sector contribute to Universal Health Coverage?

Kara Hanson, Professor of Health System Economics The private sector in low- and middle-income countries is extremely diverse. It includes large scale corporate hospitals, independent sole practitioners and retail sellers of drugs.  Private providers often contribute a substantial share of health services.  For example, in Nigeria where there is a large retail pharmaceutical sector, more than 90% of antimalarial drugs are sold through private drug shops.  They provide a significant share of care for priority health conditions such as diarrhoea and fever in children. Read more

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Gay sex survey: why preventing HIV means calling an end to finger pointing

Ford Hickson, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Blame has always been the key note of the HIV epidemic among gay men. In the 1980s the self-righteous blamed gay people, the promiscuous and sex workers. They in turn blamed the government and the churches. The old blamed the…

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Can shifting social norms tackle the sexual exploitation of girls in Rio’s favelas?

Ligia Kiss Ben CislaghiBy Dr Ligia Kiss, Lecturer in Social Epidemiology and Dr Ben Cislaghi, Lecturer in social norms at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. In a favela in Rio de Janeiro recently, a 16-year-old girl woke up in a house she did not know, surrounded by more than thirty men, some armed, who claimed to have had sex with her. She did not remember what had happened after going to her boyfriend’s house the night before. After waking up from a drug-induced state of unconsciousness, she went home wearing men’s clothes and didn’t mention anything to her family. Read more

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Could dog detectives sniff out malaria?

Dr James LoganBy Dr James Logan, Senior Lecturer in Medical Entomology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Director of ARCTEC.  Dogs have a highly sensitive sense of smell, making them great at nosing out illegal drugs or prohibited imports. However, it’s not just crime fighting these dog detectives assist us with. They can also turn their paws to healthcare, as their noses are able to pick up on the subtle odour changes in humans when some diseases cause slight biochemical changes in our bodies. Read more

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The Perfect Bet: How Science and Maths are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling

0_AdamKucharskiBy Adam Kucharski, Lecturer in Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and author of new book The Perfect Bet. Throughout history, gamblers have turned to science in their search for profitable betting strategies. But gambling has also had a huge impact on scientific research, shaping everything from probability to game theory, and chaos theory to artificial intelligence. Read more

Worker in sugarcane field. Credit: iStock/alffoto

Why are thousands of sugarcane workers in northwestern Nicaragua dying from chronic kidney disease?

Dr Marvin GonzalezBy Dr Marvin Gonzalez, Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; and Research Centre on Health, Work and Environment at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua-León. In the sugarcane fields of Nicaragua, young men work in the scorching heat for 8-12 hours a day cutting down lofty canes with a machete. It’s backbreaking work – in a typical shift they may lose more than 2kg in body weight. The men drink water or electrolyte drinks and take respite in the shade when they can, but this is often not possible. Such physically demanding work can be expected to have a toll. But increasingly worrying numbers of them are being struck down with chronic kidney disease of unknown cause, a long-term condition which will eventually take many of their lives. Read more

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The government cited my research in its campaign against porn and anal sex – here’s why I disagree

By Dr Cicely Marston, Senior Lecturer in Social Science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Are we facing an epidemic of harmful anal sex, brought on only because of the availability of online porn? This is what you’d think from reading a recent policy note from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in support of the government’s aim to require all pornographic websites to use age verification by default. Read more