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Dr. Alan Whiteside

AIDS Researcher & Global Health Expert

Alan Whiteside is an internationally recognized academic, AIDS researcher and Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He is the founder and Director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. His main research interest is the economic and development impact of HIV/AIDS. Alan has carried out training around the world and has worked across of Africa, in Ukraine and parts of Asia.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Global Health Challenges (and Canada in the global health system)
Whiteside notes the world is in a better place in terms of health than it has ever been.  That said, we still need to talk about global health, Canada’s role in international health and the impact of inequality around the world.  The global community needs to work together to prevent epidemics from reversing the gains the world has made, as a resurgence of epidemics would result in costs that would grow beyond an affordable range.

Preventable Diseases and Proactive Approaches to Healthcare
Preventable diseases and illnesses strike us in all nations:  Type 2 diabetes, measles, HIV/AIDS, malaria and more.  Access to and information on preventative actions, immunization, desire to affluence, and more impact their growth. Whiteside looks at the changing face of preventable illness and what we can do from a public and personal health perspective to eradicate these challenges.

HIV and AIDS and where we are going
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is showing scant signs of slowing down; its political impact varies greatly and is difficult to map. In this presentation, Alan takes a look at the current strategies, policies and practices being used and what this means for future generations.


Officer | Order of the British Empire

  • His research has made a significant difference to our understanding of the combined human and economic dimensions of HIV/AIDS to the African continent. He will add to our growing expertise in global health at the university.

    - Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost at Laurier

Summary Profile

Dr. Alan Whiteside is the CIGI Chair in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He has vast experience with exploring the socio-economic impacts of public health.

Alan Whiteside was born in Kenya and grew up in Swaziland. He attended the University of East Anglia in England, obtaining a BA in Development Studies and an MA in Development Economics. He was recently appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to science and strategic interventions to curb HIV/AIDS.

He was appointed as an ODI Fellow to work in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in Botswana. Alan was the Planning Officer for Education in that Ministry. Back in 1987 Alan began to work on the issue of HIV and labour migration. What he saw caused him to be concerned over the risks faced by migrants. He realized that if the epidemic was going to hit one group it was these migrants, their families and their communities. Alan presented his first paper on AIDS and Migration at a conference in the Barbican in London in 1987 and since then AIDS has come to dominate his work.  By 1990 he was working extensively on AIDS, publishing a Newsletter, AIDS Analysis Africa, and doing consultancy work.

He founded Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research (HEARD) based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. The self-funded, applied research centre conducts research, builds capacity and enables leadership to roll back the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Africa.