HIV/AIDS Presents "Opportunity" for Social Change, UNAIDS Chief Sidibe Says
April 10, 2009
Although HIV/AIDS poses significant challenges, the disease also presents opportunities for social change, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said recently during a visit to Senegal, AFP/Google.com reports. Sidibe said people should not regard HIV/AIDS simply as a problem but rather should use HIV/AIDS as an "entry point" to discuss social issues and "bring about changes in legislation." According to Sidibe, HIV/AIDS presents a "political opportunity to trigger profound changes in society, to talk about difficult issues like sex education, homophobia and human rights issues in general, like the position of women in society." He added that he regards UNAIDS "as a political agent which has to demand change" rather than as an organization with "clearly outlined programs." He said, "UNAIDS has to be the voice for the voiceless, it should have political courage."
According to AFP/Google.com, Sidibe during his visit also met with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and discussed the recent prison sentences of nine Senegalese men who have sex with men who belonged to an HIV/AIDS advocacy organization (Parayre, AFP/Google.com, 4/9).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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