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“Infectious Diseases Without Borders—Our Story,” An FGFJ x Asahi Shimbun GLOBE+ Collaborative Interview Series

November 10, 2020
“Infectious Diseases Without Borders—Our Story,” An FGFJ x Asahi Shimbun GLOBE+ Collaborative Interview Series

The Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ), in collaboration with the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s leading national newspapers, has launched a series of interviews on the Asahi web media outlet GLOBE+. The series, titled “Infectious Diseases Without Borders—Our Story,” will feature personal accounts from people affected by, and/or involved in the fight against the three major infectious diseases: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The series includes those who have diagnosed with infectious diseases, medical professionals, politicians, NGO representatives, government officials, and others who have been involved in the important work being done by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund).

During the G8 Summit in Kyushu and Okinawa in 2000, Japan played a key role in raising infectious diseases as a major issue, leading to the inception of the Global Fund. Although great progress has been made over the past 20 years, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria continue to impact people around the world, threatening the lives of the most vulnerable. Today, that fight has been complicated by another infectious disease: COVID-19 broke out on an unprecedented scale and quickly spread across the world, complicating the delivery of important healthcare services, medicines, and supplies.

This interview series is intended to share the personal stories and insights of people who have been affected by and/or involved in the important work to fight infectious diseases. By putting a human face to the battle against these diseases, we hope to raise awareness and share important lessons learned with Japan and the world.

Interviews from the “Infectious Diseases Without Borders—Our Story” Series

A Transgender Woman and HIV Activist Who Realized Her Dreams”  (November 10, 2020)
– Featuring Erika Castellanos, Director of Programs, Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)


Surviving TB & COVID – What a South African Doctor Has to Tell the World” (December 10, 2020)
– Featuring Zolelwa Sifumba, Community Service Medical Officer, St. Andrews Hospital


From Hopelessness to Hopefulness—Three Decades of Leading the Fight against HIV/AIDS” (March 26, 2021)
– Featuring Mark Dybul, Co-Director, Center for Global Health Practice and Impact; Professor, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center 


Rising from a Grim HIV Prognosis to Stand Up for Young Women/Girls in Kenya and Join an Olympic Torch Relay Team” (May 5, 2021)
– Featuring Maurine Murenga, Director, Lean on Me Foundation


20 Years of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Shinjuku’s Ni-Chome District—The Power of Community Outreach & Mobilization” (June 11, 2021)
– Featuring Kohta Iwahashi, President, akta


“Protecting Human Rights in the Fight Against COVID-19 – Learning from Experiences in Fighting HIV & TB” (July 30, 2021)
– Featuring Jeffry Acaba, Senior Programme Officer, APCASO 


“Running Out of Oxygen & Having to Turn Away Patients – A TB Doctor Combating COVID-19 in Indonesia” (October 6, 2021)
– Featuring Erlina Burhan, Pulmonologist, Persahabatan Hospital 


Leaving No One Behind—The Importance of Including People Living with HIV, Sex Workers, and Transgender People in the SDGs” (December 1, 2021)
– Featuring Yuki Takemoto, Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

Learn more about the interview series on the Asahi GLOBE+ website (in Japanese) by clicking on the logo below:


Asahi GLOBE+
Established in 1879, Asahi Shimbun is one of the most established and respected national newspapers in Japan. It was the first Japanese media outlet to launch a major speech and opinion forum. The company operates a wide range of activities, including cultural exhibitions and sports events, promoting educational and academic activities, and protecting the global environment.

GLOBE+ is a web platform created by Asahi Shimbun in June 2018 to feature new perspectives and information for a better understanding of the international political economy, world culture, and lifestyle, and it features interviews by overseas correspondents and experts. The themes selected reflect current topics on what is happening in the world today, such as environmental issues, infectious diseases, coexistence with foreigners, and work style reforms, all of which have an important connection to Japan and offer hints for thinking about the future.

Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ)
FGFJ raises awareness and builds support for the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, encouraging greater Japanese participation in addressing the global crisis posed by these deadly diseases. It organizes briefings, policy dialogues, joint studies, international symposiums, and site visits, and it serves as an information source on the value of the Global Fund’s fight against the three diseases in order to promote greater understanding throughout all sectors of Japanese society. The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) launched this private initiative in 2004 and has operated it as a JCIE program since that time.

Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)
Established in 1970, JCIE is one of the leading independent, nonprofit organizations in the field of international affairs in Japan. Working with its partner organization in the United States, JCIE/USA, it organizes a wide range of programs to promote dialogue and cooperation among leaders from diverse sectors of society in Japan and around the world on topics ranging from foreign relations and security to women’s leadership, healthy aging, cross-border movements of people, and global health.