Strengthening collaboration on AIDS
13 February 2007
In recent years Spain has shown strong commitment to the AIDS response and has been working with UNAIDS on a broad range of AIDS and social development issues. Spain has shown particular commitment in several areas of the AIDS response including; reducing stigma and discrimination, promoting gender equality, improvements to health services and scaling-up HIV prevention efforts.
UNAIDS Executive Director was in Spain from 9-12 February to meet with government officials to discuss ways of enhancing collaboration and strengthening the response to the AIDS epidemic.
During his visit, Dr Piot met with the Spanish Minister of Health, Elena Salgado, in Madrid to discuss the ongoing collaboration between UNAIDS and the Spanish Government and to brief her on the latest developments in the AIDS response.
Dr Piot also travelled to the Basque Country where he met with leading members of the Basque Government including President Juan José Ibarretxe, the Minister of Health, Gabriel Inclán and the Minister of Housing and Social Affairs, Javier Madrazo.
Whilst in the Basque Country, Dr Piot signed a multi-year Cooperation Agreement between UNAIDS and the Basque Government. The agreement, the first of its kind between the two institiutions, outlines two specific areas of support and collaboration, the first being to enhance HIV prevention efforts in Central and Eastern Europe and the second to support UNAIDS in scaling-up the response to AIDS in Rwanda.
The Basque Government also announced plans to host a seminar on HIV prevention with global HIV experts to discuss ways of scaling HIV prevention efforts in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.
During his visit, Dr Piot also met with civil society representatives and other professionals working on AIDS in the Basque region to learn more about their work.
During the discussions, Dr Piot stressed that it is one of UNAIDS’ key priorities to strengthen civil society engagement in the response to AIDS and to ensure that people living with HIV are equal partners in the process of scaling-up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support––from planning to implementation.
The visit wrapped up at the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao where Dr Piot spoke at an open conference on the future of Africa and the AIDS epidemic. The conference was organised by the museum as part of an educational programme to provide different visions of the African continent.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Contemporary African art and AIDS