UNAIDS Executive Director Discusses HIV/AIDS Fight on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal"
April 29, 2005
UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot on Thursday in an interview on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" answered questions about his role in, observations of and goals for the fight against HIV/AIDS. Piot said he is in Washington, D.C., to discuss with incoming World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and incoming UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman their organizations' leadership roles with HIV/AIDS programs in developing countries. When asked about the role of UNAIDS in fighting HIV/AIDS, Piot said that the agency coordinates all AIDS-related efforts within the U.N. system so that global HIV/AIDS organizations "have one song sheet. We all sing one song, and it's not so easy to do that." Piot said that as executive director, he is "the conductor of the orchestra of all the AIDS efforts" and has worked during his tenure to place HIV/AIDS on the political agenda of wealthy countries. He also said he has redefined AIDS as "not just a medical curiosity but as an obstacle to social and economic development ... and also a threat to security and stability," and he works to make sure there is continued funding for countries affected by HIV/AIDS. According to Piot, about $200 million was spent on HIV/AIDS in developing countries when UNAIDS was founded seven years ago, compared with approximately $6 billion last year. "Our job is really to make that money work and make sure that all the players are working in the same direction," Piot said.
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