Dr. Richard Parker is a medical anthropologist, whose research focuses on the social and cultural construction of gender and sexuality, the social aspects of HIV/AIDS, and the relationship between social inequality, health, and disease. He has conducted long-term research in Brazil since the early 1980s, as well as comparative studies in Asia, Africa, North America, and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Parker has also served on numerous commissions and held a range of positions in program and advocacy work. In 1992, he served as chief of the prevention unit for the Brazilian National AIDS Program, and from 1992 to 1995, as executive director of the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA), the largest non-governmental AIDS-service and advocacy organization in Brazil. In 1995, he was named the secretary general of ABIA?s Board of Directors, and in 1998 he was elected as ABIA?s president. Dr. Parker currently serves on the board of directors of the Commission on Citizenship and Reproduction (CCR) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Citizen?s Legal Aid for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and ICASO, the International Council of AIDS-Service Organizations, based in Toronto, Canada.
President, Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA)
Professor, Medical Anthropology and Human Sexuality, Dept. of Health Policy and Institutions, Institute of Social Medicine, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Member, Board of Directors, Commission on Citizenship and Reproduction, Sao Paulo, Brazil
At Large Member, Board of Directors, ICASO, Toronto, Canada
American Anthropological Association Task Force on AIDS
Advisory Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation-Western Hemisphere Region
Honors and Awards:
Award for Teaching Excellence, Class of 2004, Mailman School of Public Health
Ruth Benedict Prize, Outstanding Book of the Year (for Bodies, Pleasures and Passions: Sexual Culture in Contemporary Brazil, Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists (SOLGA), 1991
Selected Editorial Boards
Editor-in-Chief, Global Public Health, www.globalpublichealthjournal.net
Founding Editor, Culture, Health and Sexuality
Editorial Board Member, Archives of Sexual Behavior
Selected Global Activities:
HIV/AIDS and Social Science/Rockefeller Foundation Project
Dr. Parker received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation for a June 2005 meeting in Bellagio, Italy of leading social science researchers. The discussion will focus on contributions that social science research has made to HIV/AIDS thus far, key challenges to prioritize for future responses to the pandemic, and training and support of social science researchers and the development of research institutions, particularly in the countries most affected.
Religious Responses to HIV/AIDS in Brazil/NICHD Project
Dr. Parker has recently been awarded an NIH grant to specifically examine the roles played by religious organizations in the Brazilian response to AIDS, and how their actions have contributed to the development and implementation of a Brazilian model for addressing the epidemic. This research seeks to develop a comparative analysis of the multiple ways in which Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, and Afro-Brazilian religions have responded at the policy, institutional, and population levels to HIV/AIDS in Brazil.
Dr. Parker is the founder and co-chair of Sexuality Policy Watch (SPW). Constituted as a global forum composed of researchers and activists from a wide range of countries and regions of the world, SPW contributes to sexuality related global policy debates through strategic policy-oriented research and analysis projects, and works to promote more effective linkages between local, regional and global initiatives.