Message of Dr Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director: To our Partners


13 February 2008 - It is now 12 years since UNAIDS started work, 12 years in which the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has matured into a truly global institution, supporting national AIDS responses in more than 80 countries.

During those 12 years, we have established close relationships with a wide range of partners—networks of people living with HIV, governments, businesses, community groups, advocacy groups, religious organizations, foundations, scientific institutions, and the United Nations family. These partnerships are critical: without them, we at UNAIDS would not be able to do our work.

Because of this, I wanted to share with you our priorities for 2008. This year we have five focus areas. First we have to make the significant domestic and international money being made available—work the best that it can. We will intensify our technical and policy support to help countries scale up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Halfway towards the Millennium Development goals—we aim to do a better job of sharing information about the progress that countries have made in reaching their targets—information that could help unblock challenges faced by others.

The second is to intensify country-level action on HIV prevention, gender equality and human rights—interrelated areas that need broad engagement. We will mobilise and build capacity to support planning, costing and implementation of prevention programmes that reduce HIV risk, vulnerability and impact. And we will work with a range of stakeholders to build demand, capacity and resources for HIV prevention, while continuing to support the further roll-out of HIV treatment.

The third is to enhance the provision of practical strategic information. The 2007 AIDS epidemic update report showed just how complex the epidemic has become. We can no longer describe this epidemic in simple global figures. We have to tell the story of what is happening in countries in all their diversity. Over the next year we will further refine our reporting on the epidemic and the response. We will continue to strengthen data collection, and work with others to enhance the analysis of this information. In August, we will publish a new Global Report on the AIDS epidemic with the most up-to-date information on progress at country level.

The fourth focus is to ensure that the AIDS response contributes to wider development processes and outcomes. We want to highlight, through reporting results, the difference that HIV programmes are making towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We will use this knowledge to support global policy, particularly for the health related MDGs, but also for issues such as aid effectiveness and long-term predictable financing.

And the fifth area is to develop a much longer term, more strategic approach. We have to build on what has been achieved so far, and find ways to accelerate and then sustain this in the future. The rate of new HIV infections per year is declining, but the need for prevention, treatment, care and support is increasing. We have to find new ways to fill existing gaps—notably around HIV prevention and the volatility of development assistance. Because if we don’t find ways to address those gaps now, we will not be able to sustain the AIDS response over the longer term.

So 2008 is really a year of demonstrating and building on results. It’s about making sure those results provide maximum benefit in the decades to come. We look forward to working with you to make this happen.

Best regards,


Dr Peter Piot

Executive Director