In a conversation with Goldman Sachs’ Christina Minnis, Dr. Paul Farmer, Harvard professor and co-founder of Partners in Health, discusses his pioneering work to treat some of the most dangerous global epidemics of the past 40 years – from AIDS to Ebola – and his efforts to bring healthcare services to the world’s poorest communities.
On finding the mission of his work: “The first time we really had something that worked out I think was the mission statement of Partners in Health... It gets it right. ...‘We'll make a preferential option for the poor in health care delivery.’ And it had two other parts of the mission. ‘We're going to learn stuff while we're doing it and we're going to train others while we're being trained too.’”
On progress made against the HIV and AIDS crisis: “Americans should feel pretty proud of our record on that score... When I was in medical school, AIDS was the leading infectious killer of young adults in the United States and just about anywhere – certainly in southern Africa and Haiti. There were lots of kids born with HIV. And it made sense – if you trained in the decade I did – to believe that it would be that way, but that's not what happened.”