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Peter Piot talks about STI, HIV and UNAIDS
Peter Piot has been a key player in the field of HIV, first as a researcher and now as Executive Director of UNAIDS since it was founded in 1995. In this issue, we hear directly from Peter about his work in an exclusive interview (see page 436). Marc Vandenbruaene interviewed Peter at the ISSTDR/IUSTI conference in Seattle earlier this year, discussing the themes of leadership and global health related to STI and HIV. Many of our readers will be concerned at the relative lack of priority given to STI control internationally, compared with HIV, for example. The interview provides the opportunity to hear Peter's views on this, as he discusses the content of his plenary talk in Seattle, STIs and HIV: learning from each other for a long term response. Anticipating this year's World AIDS Day theme of leadership, he will comment on the weak response of some national and international leaders to the challenge of AIDS itself, and the role of UNAIDS and others in tackling this problem. We also ask him whether “ten by ten”—the new target of the G8 for ten million people on ART by 2010—is achievable.
We will be returning to some of the issues raised in this interview in December, when we have a special themed issue on Global Sexual Health, which will coincide with World AIDS Day 2007. There will be contributions about the scaling up antiretroviral therapy in resource poor settings, the challenges of HIV prevention in India, the role of women's use of vaginal products and practices to reproductive tract and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and the new WHO strategy for the control of STI.
We think that interviews with leading figures in the field of STI and HIV can be an excellent way of exploring issues and obtaining a more personal view of the history and practice of our field of work. Marc Vandenbruaene also recently interviewed King Holmes for The Lancet Infectious Diseases,2 coinciding with King's 70th birthday, which was honoured with a symposium in his hometown, Seattle. We hope to have more interviews in future issues of STI, so we would be interested in any suggestions for interviewees and topics. As always, we look forward to your response to this new format.