Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Obituary/Notice Necrologique: Jonathan Mann

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Obituary/Notice Necrologique: Jonathan Mann

Article excerpt

On September 2nd 1998 a luminary in the field of AIDS and public health was extinguished. Jonathan Mann, passionate visionary and charismatic leader in the global response to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was on the flight that crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia. He and his wife Mary-Lou Clements-Mann were on their way to attend a series of WHO and UNAIDS meetings on AIDS.

At the age of 51, Jonathan was living proof that a single individual can make an enormous historic contribution, in this case to the field of international public health. Jonathan saw the link between human rights and health and zealously advocated the need to develop an appropriate response, which went beyond the biomedical dimensions of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Using his forceful oratory skills and sound data, and recognizing the need to deal with the social and political dimensions of AIDS to make any dent on the epidemic, he laid the foundations for an expanded response to AIDS. And he did this at a time when few were bold enough to swim against the tide of the established paradigms.

Health -- physical, mental, and social -- will never be complete. Human rights will never be entirely fulfilled. The work is and will remain to strive towards better health and rights in a constant quest for a better world. Jonathan set us on this infinite course.

As the founder -- head of WHO's first programme on AIDS, later known as the Global Programme on AIDS (GPA), he led the initial global response to the epidemic. …

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