Tuesday, March 2, 2010

UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe, to Visit Botswana

source: Republic of Botswana (28/2/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 3 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery”

C5) 11/2/10: UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe, to Visit Botswana

Gaborone/Botswana, 12 February 2010 – UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe will pay a two day official visit to Botswana February 17-18th.2010

The Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the UN Under Secretary General, Mr Michel Sidibe, will pay a two day official visit to Botswana February 17 – 18, 2010. This is his first visit since he became the head of UNAIDS in January 2009.

Mr Sidibe is coming to Botswana to gain better understanding and appreciation on the outstanding progress that Botswana has made in the response to HIV and AIDS and to explore areas for strengthened collaboration with the Government of Botswana and other partners. During the two day visit, he will meet with High Level Political Leaders, Senior Government Officials, Civil Society Organizations, Development Partners and the Media to exchange views on strategies to accelerate efforts to curb new HIV infections and mitigate the impacts of the epidemic as well as to ensure the sustainability of financing for the HIV response.

Highlights of the Executive Director’s visit will include a tour of a Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Clinic and the Kgothatso House, a community based HIV programme based at Gaborone West Phase I.

Mr Sidibe, believes that for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to be achieved, the following bold actions must taken:

• Reduce sexual transmission of HIV

• Prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV • Ensure that people living with HIV receive treatment • Prevent people living with HIV from dying of tuberculosis • Protect drug users from becoming infected with HIV • Remove punitive laws, policies, practices, stigma and discrimination • Stop violence against women and girls • Empower young people to protect themselves from HIV • Enhance Social Protection for people affected by HIV

The Executive Director is convinced that with acceleration of HIV prevention, Africa can enter a new era—where fewer people are becoming infected with HIV than going on treatment. “When this happens we will have broken the trajectory of the epidemic,” he said in a recent speech.

Mr Sidibé has been at the helm of UNAIDS since 1 January 2009 Before joining UNAIDS, Mr Sidibé spent more than 25 years in public service. He began his career in global health and development when he became concerned with the health and welfare of the nomadic Tuareg people in the Timbuktu region of his native Mali..

In 1987, Mr Sidibé joined UNICEF in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he worked for 14 years at UNICEF overseeing programmes across ten francophone countries in Africa. He also served as UNICEF Country Representative in several African countries including Swaziland, Burundi, and Uganda. Mr Sidibé became the Director of Country and Regional support department for UNAIDS in 2001. In 2007, he was appointed as UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programmes and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr Sidibé has two Post-Master’s Diplomas in Social Planning, Demography and Development and Political Economy from the University of Clermont. He also holds a Master’s degree in economics. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary professorship at Stellenbosch University of South Africa. Born in 1952, Mr Sidibé is a citizen of Mali. He is fluent in English and French. He also speaks several African languages including Bambara, Mandingo, and Dioula. He is married and has four children.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, is the main advocate for global action on the epidemic. Started in 1996, it leads, strengthens and supports an expanded response aimed at preventing transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV, and alleviating the impact of the epidemic.

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