In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates.

This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security.


The Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health

On May 26, 2016, member states adopted the Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health 2016-2020 at the 69th World Health Assembly. The Strategy outlines a set of goals and strategic objectives to move towards a decade of Healthy Ageing beginning in 2020, and an action plan to achieve those goals.

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Aids is a War Against Humanity

AIDS is a war against humanity. We need to break the silence, banish the stigma and discrimination and ensure total inclusiveness within the struggle against AIDS. If we discard the people living with HIV/AIDS, we can no longer call ourselves human.

(Nelson Mandela July 12, 2002)

Breaking the silence represents a call to action, namely to not allow culture, race, ethnicity and gender to blind us from the epidemic that has affected our human family. At long as we believe that HIV is something that happens to someone else, we blind ourselves from many faces of HIV, we fail to take collective direct action to address the HIV crises in our communities.

In this section I will address several areas of literature, including understanding the other, a summary of critical hermeneutics, social and medical considerations of HIV in women and social stigma often associated with having HIV. The purpose of the Review of Literature is to highlight the nature and importance of understanding the other by providing background about the events and conditions that inform the experiences of my conversation partners.

Understanding the Other

Throughout the course of history and specifically in the study of anthropology, there has been a quest to understand the other. Many times the ‘other’ has been seen as a group of people, a culture, or a race that appears to be an anomaly because it does not value whatever the current paradigm of a majority culture may be. It often becomes unusual to seek a relationship with the other and thus uncommon attributes are treated too often with distrust.

As such, the other often becomes marginalized along with certain actions and attributes that are associated with them. This same way of thinking has often been the case with HIV. When the epidemic first emerged, it was associated with white gay men. As the epidemic grew, this paradigm expanded to include sex workers and intravenous drug users. Whatever the classification, the paradigm attributed HIV to a certain type of person rather than acknowledging the behaviors that were associated with HIV (i.e. unprotected sex, exchanging of needles).

The generalization of certain attributes to a marginalized group has unfortunately become a part of our collective history. In the early 1900’s, for example, racial bias was rampant. Many early anthropologists working with groups from races different than their own gathered information in a biased way and were quick to offer theories regarding the nature of human beings based on their prejudicial analyses. During this era, anthropologist Franz Boas began to introduce the idea of incorporating methodology into anthropology. His work posits that it is only after the collection and examination of empirical evidence that we can begin to formulate a theory about human beings, thus laying the groundwork for a more productive paradigm with regard to HIV. He also stresses the importance of recognizing that the theories that anthropologists develop are works in progress and it is essential for the theorist to remain open to his or her biases (NNDB Tracking the Whole World 2008 Franz Boas. Electronic document,, accessed October 29, 2008.).

Boas holds that to understand a culture it is imperative to examine myriad aspects of that culture such as religion, taboos, marriage customs, physical appearance, diet, how they gather food, and more.

UN Secretary-General meets with civil society to commemorate Paris Agreement entry into force

UN Secretary-General meets with civil society to commemorate Paris Agreement entry into force

The Paris Agreement to address climate change, adopted by world leaders last December at the Climate Conference in Paris (COP21), officially entered into force on 4 November. To commemorate this historic day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited representatives of civil society organizations to a 45-minute meeting with him at UN Headquarters in New York. This meeting provided civil society groups with the opportunity to share with the Secretary-General how their organizations will contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as their visions and concerns. The Executive Office of the Secretary-General, UN-NGLS New York, and UN DPI co-organized the meeting, with support from DGACM, UN Interpretation Service, UN Broadcast and Conference Support Section, UN Web TV, and UN Meetings Management. The Secretary-General made a statement to the press before the start of the meeting, surrounded by civil society representatives. See the video here.

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Lectures & Researches

I have written many articles, translated from Persian language, and conducted several researches including: Living Positively: Narratives from HIV positive women (, A Qualitative Study Examining HIV Antiretroviral Adherence Counseling and Support in Community Pharmacies (454 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy JMCP July/August 2013 Vol. 19, No. 6), and more

Humanitarian Works

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Working with Humanitarian Organizations I have developed programs to advocate for human rights with focus on women and children’s rights, including Voices for Justice
  • Worked with Women’s Wisdom Women in Action
  • Served as a member of the Building Bridges of Understanding committee inviting Shirin Ebadi, noble peace laureate, to Bay Area
  • Contributed towards providing: medical supplies and clean water in refugee areas; elimination of poverty; HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention; education to understand the signs of domestic violence

Events & Conferences

I have participated in variety of humanitarian events and conferences including: the UN annual NGO/DPI, and the Millennium World Peace Summit in the United Nations; Women’s Wisdom, Women in Action (California), and more; and presented talks and engaged in panel discussion on variety of subjects Building Bridges of Understanding Series ( panel presentation on moving beyond the stereotypes and prejudices of HIV-positive individuals; importance of forgiveness and imagination in accepting; Rhythm Within, presented by the Community Healing Center (California); Sufi Poetry and Music, Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, Spain, and more

Health & Wellbeing

I have worked towards health and well-being with organizations devoted to social justice and HIV/AIDS prevention; developed ongoing programs of food drives to eliminate hunger; contributed towards universal primary education by adopting a classroom; organized roundtable discussions for education and prevention of domestic violence including: on: Recognizing Women’s Rights and Creating a Safe Place; conceived a Cross Cultural Study of families who emigrated to the United States, addressing the challenges of adjusting to a new culture, language and environment, and the potential effects on intra-generational relationships.

Health and Wellbeing

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself [herself] and of his [her] family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his [her] control.

—Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25, para. 1)

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