Siddharth Dube

siddharth dube



Public Health
Sex Work
LGBTQ+ Rights
Land Reform


Siddharth Dube is a non-fiction writer and specialist commentator on poverty, public health, and development.

His books include No One Else: A personal history of outlawed love and sexIn the Land of Poverty: Memoirs of an Impoverished Indian Family, 1947-1997Sex, Lies and AIDS; and the central essay to photographer Sebastião Salgado’s The End of Polio. Both the international edition of No One Else and a sequel to In the Land of Poverty will be published in 2017.

Dube was born in Calcutta in 1961. He studied at Tufts University, the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism, and the Harvard School of Public Health, where he completed his MSc in 1991. He has since been scholar-in-residence at Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, and a long-term visiting fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. Currently, he is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York City, a contributing editor to The Caravan, and a columnist on ‘Justice for All’ for the Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle.

Siddharth Dube has worked and consulted for the World Bank, UNICEF, WHO and other international organizations, most recently as senior adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. In 2009, he was a member of the UNAIDS Leadership Transition Working Group. He has been awarded research grants by the Ford Foundation, IDRC, and the US Institute of Peace. 

An activist on diverse fronts, in 2006, Siddharth Dube, the writer Vikram Seth and the historian Saleem Kidwai initiated a campaign urging the Indian government and the judiciary to decriminalize same-sex relations. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen joined the campaign with a complementary open letter, writing, “It is surprising that independent India has not yet been able to rescind the colonial era monstrosity in the shape of Section 377, dating from 1861.”

In 2013, Swami Agnivesh, Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Dube and others launched a campaign urging fair and timely trial for the thousands of adivasis in Central India who remain imprisoned as under-trials, often many years after being arrested, accused of ‘Naxalite/ Maoist’ offences. One of Dube’s main causes is the decriminalization of consensualadult sex work, a matter that is discussed in depth in his new book on outlawed love and sex.


  • B.A.
    Tufts University

  • Masters of Journalism
    University of Minnesota

  • Masters of Science
    Harvard School of Public Health