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Commentary & Opinion

Opinion Pieces Address AIDS Work of Nelson Mandela

December 9, 2013

The following is a summary of two opinion pieces addressing the AIDS work of Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

  • Art Caplan, NBC News: "As the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela, it is important to look at the one area where the iconic former president of South Africa slipped -- AIDS," Caplan, the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, writes. "The most outstanding moral figure of our age did not do what was needed as HIV began to destroy the country he loved. But his actions after he realized his failures are an important part of his legacy," he continues, concluding, "Our greatest ethical leaders like Mandela are never more instructive than when we learn not just from their triumphs, but also from how they recognize and respond to a mistake" (12/8).
  • Michael Halpern, Huffington Post's "Science" blog: "It is worth reflecting on [Mandela's] ability to transcend politics when speaking about contentious scientific issues," Halpern, a program manager with the Center for Science and Democracy, writes, adding, "Nowhere was this more apparent than in the difficult politics surrounding HIV/AIDS at the turn of the millennium." He recounts Mandela's closing address at the 13th International AIDS Conference that took place in Durban, South Africa, and states, "May we all learn from Nelson Mandela's words and go beyond disagreements about science and politics to confront together the most pressing public health and environmental issues of our time" (12/6).

Back to other news for December 2013

This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
See Also
Global Community Reacts to Death of Nelson Mandela, Reflects on His Contributions to Global AIDS Response
Nelson Mandela: Great Is Too Small a Word
Three Ways Nelson Mandela Fought AIDS
Blog Posts, Press Release Address Death of Nelson Mandela
Media Coverage of Mandela's Death, AIDS Work Continues
Opinion: Mandela Would Approve of Global AIDS Progress
Opinion: Leadership Like Mandela's Can Help Transform HIV/AIDS Epidemic Globally

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