Global Health Academy

HIV, Human Rights and Development Network

The HIV, Human Rights and Development Network is a mechanism that brings experts together to explore issues around HIV.

HIV is a priority for the Scottish Government. We continue to invest in the prevention, diagnosis andtreatment of HIV in Scotland, and in services and activities to support those who are affected by the virus.However despite progress in many areas significant challenges remain and new challenges, such as theageing HIV population, will continue to arise. I welcome the establishment of the HIV, Human Rights and Development Network as a new mechanism to bring experts together to explore issues around HIV. I am sure the network will make a significant contribution to our response to this disease.

Michael Matheson, MSPMinister for Public Health, Scottish Government

The spread of HIV is directly related to human rights and development issues. The disease thrives in conditions of powerlessness, poverty, inequality, exploitation and social exclusion. Its spread has undone some developmental progress in some parts of the world.

The Network has been set up by Dr George Palattiyil and Dr Dina Sidhva (Joint Convenors of the Network), following their research with HIV positive asylum seekers in Scotland.

Co-hosted by the University’s Global Health Academy, it is the first network in the UK to bring together professionals from these backgrounds to share cutting edge research on the inextricable link between HIV, human rights and development with the intention of informing vital policy and practice to stem the HIV epidemic.

Now is the time when we will take the ideas forward and start a change in the way we think, and treat those living with HIV, those at risk of HIV, those fearful about HIV, those caring for family and friends with HIV, and those making decisions (economic, citizenship, employment, legal, housing, healthcare) that affect people living with HIV and their families

Dr Liz GrantDirector, Global Health Academy


  • To run seminars based on cutting-edge research and good practice examples which will influence policy outcomes relating to HIV, human rights and development.
  • Act as a platform for knowledge exchange for practitioners, policy makers, academics, activists and other interested partiesin Scotland and beyond.
  • Seek to influence domestic policy and explore Scotland’s role in influencing policy in relevant international arenas that impact upon Scottish practice.

By taking a unique approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Network hopes to address the wider social, economic, cultural and political factors that drive the epidemic, such as gender-based inequalities and violence, poverty, exploitation and social exclusion and government inaction.

Advisory Committee & Network Partners

  • Jim Eadie MSP (Scottish Parliament)
  • David Johnson (National Co-ordinator for Sexual Health and HIV, Health Protection Team, Scottish Government)
  • Liz Grant (Director, Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Grant Sugden (Director, Waverley Care)
  • George Valiotis (Chief Executive, HIV Scotland)
  • Robert McKay (Director, THT Scotland)
  • Oonagh O’Brian (Lecturer, Queen Margaret University)
  • Marjorie Clark (HIV Programme Coordinator, Church of Scotland).

If you would like to join the Network and be kept informed of its future activities please contact the Network Convenors:

Name E-mail
Dr George Palattiyil
Dr Dina Sidhva