Peter Piot – Belgium

Linked with Global HIV/AIDS: Five Leadership Issues.

Peter, Baron Piot (born 1949 in Leuven, Belgium) is Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN specialized agency UNAIDS. In 2004, he was awarded the Vlerick Award. After he qualified as a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in 1974, he co-discovered the Ebola
virus in Zaire in 1976. In 1980 Peter Piot received a PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He was also a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. In the 1980s, Dr. Piot participated in a series of collaborative projects in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania and Zaire. Project SIDA in Kinshasa, Zaire was the first international project on AIDS in Africa and is widely acknowledged as having provided the foundations of our understanding of HIV infection in Africa. He was a professor of microbiology, and of public health at the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, in Antwerp, and the Universities of Nairobi, Brussels, and Lausanne … (full text).

His Bio in 5 UN languages.

… In 1992, Dr Piot joined the Global Programme on AIDS of the World Health Organization, in Geneva, as Associate Director. Born in 1949 in Belgium, Dr Piot is fluent in three languages and is the author of 16 books and more than 500 scientific articles. He has received numerous awards for scientific and societal achievement, and was knighted as a Baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 1995. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK. (full text).

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Peter Piot – Belgium

Watch these videos:

During a visit to Bangkok, Thailand, UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot met with the Prime Minister of Thailand and celebrated the International Women’s Day with the Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and with Ms Joana Merlin-Scholtes, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand. Dr Piot released a statement stressing the importance of addressing gender inequality and the feminization of the AIDS epidemics. Read the statement here … (full text).

First UN HIV/AIDS director Peter Piot joins Gates Foundation; rest of UN coming soon, Jan. 15, 2009.

He says: “I arrived here yesterday from South Africa, where I saw very positive signs of strong new leadership on AIDS. The National AIDS Council has a clear agenda, and it is good to see government and civil society really rallying together to achieve this”. (Speeches, on UNAIDS).

Find him and his publications on Speeches on UNAIDS; on Google News-results; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Ban, in a speech before the 2008 High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, praised Piot for being a “tireless leader who has been at the vanguard of the response to AIDS since the earliest days of the epidemic.” A successor has not yet been named. Piot, a Belgian who co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976, has led the UN’s response to the AIDS epidemic as executive director of the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) since its inception in 1995. In a little noticed statement in April, Piot said he would step down when his term ended at the end of this year … full text, June 11, 2008.

UNAIDS chief Peter Piot to direct new Institute for Global Health at Imperial College London, 16 Oct 2008.

Peter Piot, MD, PhD, former founding executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, has agreed to serve briefly as a health adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. He will hold that post until May, when he will move to Imperial College in London to launch a global health program. Piot has previously criticized the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic efforts for directing too much of its funding toward research projects such as searching for a malaria vaccine. He has always urged for improved delivery of medications to poor countries lacking in effective health infrastructures … (full text).

He writes: … The true measure of this progress is the momentum in terms of the on-the-ground eff ect of HIV treatment and prevention programmes. The sense of determination and optimism that distinguish the AIDS response today has much to do with the hard-won gains on HIV treatment access. Between 2001 and mid-2006, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy in low-income and middle-income countries increased from 240 000 to about 1·5 million. An estimated 250 000 to 350 000 deaths were averted in 2005 as a consequence.6 By the end of 2005, 21 countries had met the “3 by 5” target of providing treatment to at least half of those who need it … (full long text of 5 pages, 2006).

He says also: “It is time to increase funding. Sometimes I hear that there is “too much money for AIDS”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, there has been a tremendous increase in resources for AIDS, with the results we know. But the sobering reality is that the AIDS response remains under-funded. Last year, there was an $8 billion shortfall. So if we are going to sustain the gains we have made already and not waste the investments and the results we have, if we are going to get anywhere near universal access to HIV prevention treatment and care, the world will need to significantly increase investments in AIDS”. (Quotes).

.And he says: … Yeah. We actually wrote that also in the report on – it’s called, I think, “Acquired [immuno]deficiency syndrome in a heterosexual population in Zaire,” which caused a lot of, shall we say, resistance. We had problems in publishing it because people said: “Heterosexual? AIDS? No, no, no. This is a gay disease.” It even had at some point [the name] GRID [gay-related immunodeficiency]. I never understood why a virus would care about the sexual preference/orientation of its human host, because from the perspective of a virus, what is sex between human beings but contact between mucosal surfaces? It doesn’t sound very romantic or exciting, but that’s it – so that the virus can jump from one cell to another. That’s it. And some types of intercourse may be more efficient than others, like anal intercourse, but at the end of the day it’s the same. So I was always puzzled by this kind of dogma, [that] this must be a homosexual disease. And also because of all the women we saw. If you see mostly men, you could say OK, culturally this is not acceptable, so most of the men were lying. But when you saw so many women, and when you look at the epidemiology, it’s people with lots of sex partners and so on. When you look at that article afterwards — I read it again a few years ago, and I said, well, we hit the nail on the head with a lot of this, saying heterosexual [behavior] linked with multiple partners, poverty and so on and so on … (full interview text).

links:

Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa;

AAAS – Annual Meeting 2008;

Gays Without Borders: An informal network of international GLBT grassroots activists working to make the world a safer place for GLBT people, and for full GLBT equality in all aspects of legal and social life;

Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division, University of KwaZulu-Natal;

Caram eNews, and its Mandatory Testing Data Analysis Workshop April 2007;

Sejarah HIV 1993-1997, download.

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