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Joanne Csete

Associate Professor of Clinical of Population and Family Health

Joanne Csete, PhD, focuses her research and teaching on health and human rights, particularly the impact of criminalization and gender-based subordination on access to health services for people who use drugs, sex workers, and others vulnerable to HIV. At Human Rights Watch and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, she documented and engaged in advocacy on human rights abuses against marginalized people facing severe health risks in more than 20 countries. Dr. Csete has worked on HIV/AIDS and other health and nutrition programs and policies in Africa for over 10 years, including in complex emergency situations.
Education & Training:

    PhD, 1988, Cornell University

    MPH, 1981, Columbia University

    BA, 1977, Princeton University


University Affiliations:

  • Law, Policy and Rights Program, Heilbrunn Dept. of Population and Family Health  director
Honors and Awards:
  • Reviewer, International AIDS Society international conference abstracts, 2004-2009
  • Opening keynote speaker, Conference on Reduction of Drug-Related Harm, Beirut, April 2011
New York City
    Influence of drug courts on access to methadone
    Qualitative study involving New York City and several other counties in New York State on the influence of county-level drug court policies on people's access to medication-assisted treatment for opiate dependence

    Swiss policy on illicit drugs: lessons for the world
    Analysis of lessons from the history of Swiss policy on narcotic and psychotropic drugs, with attention to experiences that could be replicated in other settings
    Countries: Switzerland

    Narcotic drug policy in sub-Saharan Africa
    Development of case studies of drug policy in four sub-Saharan countries, with attention to barriers to adopting politics that reflect internationally agreed best practice

Selected Publications:
  • J. Csete and R. Elliott Scaling up HIV testing: human rights and hidden costs HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review 11(1) 1, 5-9 2006
  • S. Burris, J. Csete, X. Goumei and B. Loff Shanghai plans responses to AIDS Lancet 365 1524-25 2005
  • Csete, J. Several for the price of one: Right to AIDS treatment as link to other human rights Connecticut Journal of International Law 17 263-272 2002
  • J.L. Twigg, ed. HIV/AIDS in Russia and Eurasia, vol. 1 Palgrave Macmillan New York, NY, USA 165-180 2006
  • Elliott, R., Csete, J., Palepu, A. and Kerr, T. Reason and rights in global drug control policy Canadian Medical Association Journal 172(5) 655-656 2005
  • Harris, P.G. and Siplon, P., eds. Global politics of AIDS Lynne Rienner Boulder, CO, USA 247-262 2007
  • Jürgens R, Csete J, Amon JJ, Baral S, Beyrer C. People who use drugs, HIV, and human rights. Lancet 376(9739) 475-85 2010
  • Csete J, Dube S. An inappropriate tool: criminal law and HIV in Asia AIDS Sept Sup 3 S80-85 2010
  • Csete J, Cohen J. Health benefits of legal services for criminalized populations: the case of people who use drugs, sex workers and sexual and gender minorities. J Law Med Ethics. J Law Med Ethics. 38(4) 816-31 2010
  • Csete, J., Gathumbi, A., Wolfe, D. and Cohen, J. Lives to save: Drug use, HIV and PEPFAR in Africa Lancet forthcoming 2009

Contact Information


60 Haven Ave., #B2

New York, NY 10032