Johanna T. Crane

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities

20092010 Forum on Connections

Johanna T. Crane

PhD, UCSF/Berkeley

Disaster, Assistance, Opportunity: AIDS, Science, and Power at the Dawn of Uganda's 'Treatment Era'

Free HIV drugs started to become widely available for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa in late 2004, nearly 10 years after their debut in the West. The advent of the African ‘treatment era’ was historic not only for Africans with HIV/AIDS but also for global HIV science, as international researchers flocked to Uganda and other African countries in order to take advantage of new scientific opportunities. My project examines the impact of this ‘turn towards Africa’ in American HIV research, focusing on research collaborations between American and Ugandan physician-scientists. I argue that though these collaborations operate under an ethic of equal partnership, they also introduce new inequalities related to the production of scientific knowledge about HIV/AIDS. My monograph tracks the transnational flows of knowledge, technologies, money, obligation, protocols, drugs and biological samples that constitute scientific collaboration between U.S. and Ugandan HIV researchers, and explores the significance of such connections in light of the recent explosion of interest in “global health” at American research universities.