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Continuing Commitment Needed in Fight Against HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS Executive Director Piot Says in Reuters Interview

May 25, 2006

UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot in a Reuters interview published Tuesday said that a "long-term commitment" is needed in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. "We need to move from crisis management ... to a long-term commitment," Piot said, adding, "We are in this for the long haul. Not as an institution but as an issue." According to Piot, one of the major achievements of the past decade has been putting HIV/AIDS on the "mainstream" agenda. Redefining the issue of HIV/AIDS as a threat to economic and social development and not solely as a disease has played an important role in moving forward, according to Piot. "We are moving into a new era in the response to [HIV/]AIDS," Piot said, adding, "We have political momentum, financial momentum and a momentum of results." Piot said addressing sexual violence, inequality between the sexes and homophobia -- issues that have fueled the pandemic -- also is essential to curbing HIV/AIDS in the long term (Reaney, Reuters, 5/23).

WBUR AIDS Anniversary Program
In related news, WBUR's "On Point" on Wednesday in the first hour of the program included a discussion of the changes in sexual relationships in the U.S. and the world since the first diagnosis of HIV/AIDS 25 years ago. Guests on the program included John-Manuel Andriote, author of the book, "Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America," and a recent Washington Post opinion piece; Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE, president of the International AIDS Society and former director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's HIV, Tuberculosis and Reproductive Health program; and Pernessa Seele, founder and CEO of the New York City-based HIV/AIDS awareness group The Balm in Gilead (Ashbrook, "On Point," WBUR, 5/24).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer and Windows Media.

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