Vinh-Kim Nguyen

Vinh-Kim NguyenFormer Member

Nguyen is an anthropologist and physician practising Emergency Medicine at the Montréal Jewish General Hospital. He has also worked as an HIV physician for over 20 years. He is based at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva where he teaches Social Theory and Medical Anthropology in the graduate program in Anthropology. He also holds appointments in Anthropology and Global Health at the École de Santé publique de l’Université de Montréal and the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. He advises WHO’s emerging epidemics Blueprint as well as MSF’s “CRASH” humanitarian research unit. With Eileen Moyer he is the co-founding editor of Medicine, Anthropology, Theory, the first open access journal in Medical Anthropology. He and Margaret Lock have recently completed a fully revised second edition of An Anthropology of Biomedicine.

Current position
University affiliation
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies


Nguyen holds an ERC Consolidator Grant to examine attempts to eliminate HIV transmission. This project, entitled “Eradication: the science and politics of a world without AIDS” is focussed on the making of PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis for HIV). PrEP involves taking antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV infection and has demonstrated remarkable success in two important drug trials. Researchers working with Nguyen examine the social and organizational networks that made it possible to demonstrate the efficacy of PrEP in these trials, and how this efficacy is being translated into the world outside the trials, focussing particularly on African sites of implementation.

He also coordinates the social science team of the Inserm/NIH Prevac Ebola Vaccine trial in West Africa and is, with colleagues, developing a new project that examines the links between war, wounding, and antimicrobial resistance.


  • Lock, Margaret and Vinh-Kim Nguyen (eds.) (2018) "An Anthropology of Biomedicine, 2nd Edition." London: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Dewachi O, M Skelton, VK Nguyen, et al. (2014) "Changing therapeutic geographies of the Iraqi and Syrian wars." in The Lancet 383 (9915): 449-457.
  • Brotherton, P. Sean, and Vinh-Kim Nguyen (2013) "Revisiting local biology in the era of global health." in Medical Anthropology 32 (4): 287-290.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2013) "Counselling against HIV in Africa: A genealogy of confessional technologies." in Culture, Health & Sexuality 15 (Supplement 4): 440-452.
  • Zarowsky, Christina, Slim Haddad, and Vinh-Kim Nguyen (2013) "Beyond ‘vulnerable groups’: Contexts and dynamics of vulnerability." in Global Health Promotion 20 (1): 3-9.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2011) "Trial communities: HIV and therapeutic citizenship in West Africa." in Evidence, ethos and experiment: The anthropology and history of medical research in Africa , edited by Paul Wenzel Geissler and Catherine Molyneux, 429-444. New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Nguyen V-K, N Bajos, F Dubois-Arber, J O’Malley, CM Pirkle (2011) "Remedicalizing an epidemic: From HIV treatment as prevention to HIV treatment is prevention." in AIDS 25 (3): 291-3.
  • Lock, Margaret and Vinh-Kim Nguyen (eds.) (2010) "An Anthropology of Biomedicine, 1st Edition." Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2010) "The republic of therapy: Triage and sovereignty in West Africa's time of AIDS." Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2010) "The Republic of Therapy: Triage and Sovereignty in West Africa’s Time of AIDS." Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2009) "Therapeutic evangelism: Confessional technologies, antiretrovirals and biospiritual transformation in the fight against AIDS in West Africa." in AIDS and religious practice in Africa , edited by Felicitas Becker and Wenzel Geissler, 359-378. Leiden: Brill.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2009) "Government-by-exception: Enrolment and experimentality in mass HIV treatment programs in Africa." in Social Theory & Health 7: 196-217.
  • Nguyen V-K, CY Ako, P Niamba, A Sylla, I Tiendrebeogo (2007) "Adherence as therapeutic citizenship: Impact of the history of access to antiretroviral drugs on adherence to treatment." in AIDS 21 (5): S31-S35.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2005) "Uses and pleasures: Sexual modernity, hiv/aids and confessional technologies in a West African metropolis." in Sex in Development , edited by Vincanne Adams and Stacey Leigh Pigg. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Nguyen, Vinh-Kim (2004) "Antiretroviral globalism, biopolitics, and therapeutic citizenship." in Global assemblages: Technology, politics, and ethics as anthropological problems , edited by A Ong and S Collier. London: Blackwell.
  • Nguyen V-K and K Peschard (2004) "Anthropology, inequality and disease: A review." in Annual Review of Anthropology 32: 447-474.