Peter Piot

Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS, was Wednesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On how he approaches his mission:

"Keeping the issue alive and also making sure that people see this is a problem with a solution - that there are also positive stories, I think, is one of our big challenges.... There is progress, but I am not naïve. I ... believe that AIDS is going to be with us for generations."

On where the problem is greatest:

"It is really everywhere.... Not only [are] sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean the most affected parts of the world, but we see very clearly a next wave of countries in terms of the AIDS epidemic. And that's the huge countries in Asia: China, India, Vietnam, coming up. [And] Indonesia and Russia."

On the feminization of AIDS:

"In every single region in the world, the proportion of women among people living with HIV is on the rise. We will need to have some real affirmative action to make sure women don't fall out of the boat on treatment.... What we need to do is pay far more attention to issues that make women vulnerable to HIV."

On the US approach to the problem:

"This is one of the great moral issues of our time.... And the role of America is irreplaceable. Only the US has the leadership and the economic and political weight to make sure this issue remains on the agenda. There is no other country where there is so much giving on causes like AIDS."

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