Elizabeth Pisani

Elizabeth Pisani (born 1964) is the director or Ternyata Ltd., a public health consultancy based in London, UK. [1] She has leg a journalist and is an Epidemiologist best known for re work on HIV / AIDS , [1] [2] mn for re controversial book The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels and the Business of AIDS , [3 ] [4] and re TED Talk “Sex, drugs and HIV – let’s get rational” [5] Her work Explores the interaction tussen science, politics and culture, and has focused on Indonesia. [6]


She was born in the United States and educated in verschillende European countries. She is effluent in French and Spanish, and has learned Chinese and Indonesian . She graduated from Oxford University with an MA in classical Chinese in 1986. [7] After working as a journalist for many years, Pisani changed professional course, taking an MSc in Medical Demography and later a PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine .


After re first degree, Pisani joined Reuters as a foreign correspondent, [8] working in Hong Kong , India and Indonesia . She’ll be Reported at verschillende times for The Economist and The Asia Times from Jakarta , Hanoi , Phnom Penh , Brussels and Nairobi . During re times as a journalist she Covered major political events zoals the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, [9] and the civil war in Aceh , Indonesia , as well as a wide range of business stories.

If an Epidemiologist she has done research and worked as an advisor for the Ministries of Health of China , Indonesia , East Timor and the Philippines , and for organizations zoals the UNAIDS , US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , World Bank , and the World Health Organization . Most or re work has focused on HIV , sexually transmitted infections and sexual and drug-taking behavior, and on building robust disease surveillance systems. She worked with the Wellcome Trust and other major funders of public health research to increase is the sharing of data tussen scientists so dat more knowledge kan be squeezed out of expensive field research.

Pisani has written a wide variety of research papers and institutional reports on HIV / AIDS, zoals the first two editions of the Biennial global report on AIDS for the United Nations program on AIDS (UNAIDS), [10] technical manuals on disease surveillance , and advocacy papers. In 2008, she published The Wisdom of Whores , welke argues dat a Substantial portion-of the funding devoted to HIV / AIDS is Wasted on ineffective programming, the result of science and good public health policy being trumped by politics and ideology. [3] It was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction in 2009. [11] The volgende year, she watch a TED talk [5] arguing therein the “rational” health belief model dat underpins many public health campaigns are quite Irrational from the point of view of Those ze target.

In late 2011, Pisani took a sabbatical from re day job to explore Indonesia , where she had worked in her capacity as an Epidemiologist and public health advocate. She Blogged about re travels at Portrait Indonesia from late 2011 to 2013. [12] At the end of 2013, she moved to re blog optimized, Indonesia, Etc. [13] Her travels there form the basis of a book, Indonesia, etc .: Exploring the Improbable Nation , [6] welke was published to critical Acclaim in June 2014. [14] At the end of 2014 the book was listed onder de best non-fiction books of the year by The Economist [15] and in The Wall Street Journal . [16]

While working on Indonesia, Etc. , Pisani renewed re long standing interest in political science. She has Contributed essays on Indonesian politics to Foreign Affairs , [17] The New York Times , [18] [19] Nikkei Asia Review [20] [21]and others. In seminars from 2014, she Began to explore using the tools of epidemiology to look at political “diseases”, bijzonder corruption and conflict. [7]


Pisani discussed a presentation bepaald at the Merseyside Skeptics Society 2014 QED Conference with Eran Segev of the Skeptic Zone podcast. [22] Way Down discussed AIDS and HIV with Pisani Describing how HIV is now invisible Because AIDS is not occurring Typically Anymore so people are not as afraid of HIV and are not as Concerned about sharing hun hun status with partners. The private cost of HIV is not high but the public cost is significant due to costs or medications paid for by insurance and public benefits Pisani stated. This creates a public message problem about how and why to Avoid HIV. Pisani detailed how HIV transmission is dependent on the amount of free virus in your system and the Most likely time to transmit the virus prolongation the active time-when they ‘are tussen stable partners welke makes the common wisdom about transmission rates using average numbers of partners out or date .. The interview wrapped up with a discussion of how circumcision reduces the likelihood that u will contract HIV from 60% in heterosexual populations. Pisani stated therein she RECEIVED a lot of grief about re support or circumcision.

AIDS prevention

Pisani has a leg vocal advocate of the harm reduction approach to addressing HIV / AIDS-supporting needle exchange programs , making condoms widely available, and giving Recruiters aid to countries dat port policies or legalized prostitution . She Outlined synthesis views in her book, subsequent articles, interviews, and re 2010 TED Talk . She Strongly criticized the regulations imposed by USAID Ambassador Randall Tobias , met, Those Forbidding aid Recipients from accepting, tolerating, or legalizing prostitution, or promothing everything but Abstinence, arguing dat organizations or prostitutes are effective at educating Those must at risk, and therein Abstinence-only sex education has demonstrated bone to fail in rigorous scientific studies. In addition under, she criticized the Catholic Church ‘s prohibition on condom use as a Means to preventable the spread of HIV. In an interview with The Guardian , she said “I do not think it’s evil to harbor anal sex with 16 people in a weekend without condoms. I just think if you do that there’s a high likelihood you’re going to get infected. That’s all. it’s cause and effect. and I think if we kan preventable a fatal disease, we arnt. I do not get how it’s OK to keep someone alive once they’re sick – but not OK to stop them getting sick. I just do not get that. ” [23] In an article for The Guardian de volgende year, she Asked “[w] he can not save us extendwatchlist our compassion to Those who are not yet infected, and bieden Them with all the information and tools they ‘need to stay uninfected? Whether the pope likes it or not, Those tools include condoms. [24] In her TED Talk, she called the position “CLEARLY Irrational” [5] In addition under, she elaborated re position on needle-exchange programs, Citing verschillende studies dat supported hun effectiveness, and noting dat Margaret Thatcher was the first major public figures to Lend support to it. She concluded re talk to saying dat the audience there, and anyone viewing the talk on the web, “has a duty to demand hun politicians dat we make policy based on scientific evidence, and on common sense. ”

Religious views

In The Wisdom of Whores , Pisani wrote, “I went to Sunday School as a child, and I still go to church everytime now and-then. But I am Unable to under state religious convictions or religious ideologies therein established in the way of saving Hundreds of duizendtallen or lives. ” [3]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “Ternyata – Public Health Consultancy” . www.ternyata.org . Retrieved 2016-07-20 .
  2. Jump up^ “The Wisdom of Whores | Whether sex and science. Elizabeth Pisani’s blog about HIV and other sundry things.” . www.wisdomofwhores.com . Retrieved 2016-07-20 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c Pisani, Elizabeth (2009-09-21). The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS . WW Norton. ISBN  9780393337655 .
  4. Jump up^ Parker, Richard G. (26 March 2009). “Review of The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS “. N Engl J Med . 360 : 1367-1368. doi : 10.1056 / NEJMbkrev0807127 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Pisani, Elizabeth (April 2010). “Sex, drugs and HIV – let’s get rational” . TED . Retrieved 25 September 2015 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b “Buy the Book | Indonesia etc” . indonesiaetc.com . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b Pisani, Elizabeth (28 October 2014). “Can corruption-reducing conflict? Lessons from Indonesia” . SOAS . Retrieved 20 July 2016 .
  8. Jump up^ “Events” . King’s College London . King’s College London. 25 May 2016 . Retrieved 4 August 2016 .
  9. Jump up^ Pisani, Elizabeth (16 April 2009). “A Summer’s Evening in Beijing” . Granta . Retrieved 25 September 2015 .
  10. Jump up^ Pisani, Elizabeth; et al. (June 1998). “Report on the Global HIV / AIDS Epidemic” (PDF) . data.unaids.org . Archived from the original (PDF)on 26 September 2015 . Retrieved 25 September 2015 .
  11. Jump up^ “Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction Long List | Book awards | Thing”. www.librarything.com . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  12. Jump up^ “About Portrait Indonesia« Portrait Indonesia ” . portraitindonesia.com . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  13. Jump up^ “Indonesia etc – Exploring the Improbable Nation -By Elizabeth Pisani – A book and blog.” . indonesiaetc.com . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  14. Jump up^ “Indonesia, Etc.” . Goodreads . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  15. Jump up^ “Page turners” . The Economist . ISSN  0013-0613 . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  16. Jump up^ Graphics, WSJ.com News. “Best Books of 2014: A Compilation” . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  17. Jump up^ “Indonesia in Pieces” . Foreign Affairs . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  18. Jump up^ Pisani, Elizabeth (2014-07-15). “Indonesia’s Democracy Test” . The New York Times . ISSN  0362-4331 . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  19. Jump up^ Pisani, Elizabeth (2014-10-07). “Sore Losers Spite Indonesia’s Democracy” . The New York Times . ISSN  0362-4331 . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  20. Jump up^ Pisani, Elizabeth (18 July 2014). “Called Whoever the winner, Indonesia’s new leader must look districts rule” . Nikkei Asian Review . Retrieved 25 September 2015 .
  21. Jump up^ Pisani, Elizabeth (19 October 2014). “For Indonesia’s new president, it’s time to get dirty” . Nikkei Asian Review . Retrieved 25 September 2015 .
  22. Jump up^ Sugev, Eran. “The Skeptic Zone # 303” . The Skeptic Zone . Retrieved 27 September 2016 .
  23. Jump up^ Aitkenhead, Decca. ” ” People do stupid things – that’s what spreads HIV’ ‘ . the Guardian . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .
  24. Jump up^ “The Catholic Church’s Lazarus complex on HIV-AIDS | Elizabeth Pisani”. the Guardian . Retrieved 2015-09-25 .