Feature story

G8 Summit: Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy hosts spouse event on the protection of mothers and children against HIV

27 May 2011

(From left) Mrs Ban Soon-taek; Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy; Mr Michel Sidibé; Prof Michel Kazatchkine. Deauville, 27 May 2011.
Credit: Laurent Blevennec

Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy brought together the spouses of Heads of State and Government attending the G8-Africa Summit in Deauville to a working lunch dedicated to the protection of mothers and children against HIV.

As Global Ambassador for the Protection of Mothers and Children Against HIV and founder of the Born HIV-Free campaign, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy engaged the spouses to support the goal of ending new HIV infections among children by 2015. The luncheon included Michel Sibidé, Executive Director of UNAIDS who also represented Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF in his absence, and Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The luncheon was an opportunity to take stock of the initiatives already undertaken in the field and to reaffirm the need for all partners to work together to eliminate new HIV infections among children.

We must mobilize political leaders, the media and the public at large to put an end to this inequity so that by 2015 a new generation can be born HIV free

Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Global Ambassador for the Protection of Mothers and Children Against HIV and founder of the Born HIV-Free campaign

Speaking at the luncheon, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy stated, “Every year, almost 400,000 children are born with HIV. Over 90% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, today, effective treatment to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child is available and inexpensive. It is unfair and unacceptable that only pregnant women in the richest countries benefit from appropriate medical care and access to treatment. We must mobilize political leaders, the media and the public at large to put an end to this inequity so that by 2015 a new generation can be born HIV free.”

(From left) Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS; Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Deauville, 27 May 2011.
Credit: UNAIDS

Calling for the need for increased leadership, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said, “As a father I know that every parent’s wish is to do the best for their children. Mothers must be given access to treatment and have the opportunity to ensure their children are born free from HIV.” Echoing this, Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria said, “With G8 leadership and a strong commitment from developing countries, I know we can improve women’s health and by 2015 have an AIDS free generation.”

These efforts will continue when world leaders meet in New York from June 8-10 at the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS to chart the future of the global AIDS response.

Earlier in the day Mr Sidibé addressed a press conference to highlight the joint letter that was submitted to the G8 Heads of State. The letter requests the commitment of the G8 leaders to support the goal of eliminating new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive. It was signed by Mr Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS; Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF; and Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

(From left): Mme Viviane Wade, Sénégal; Mme Dominique Ouattara, Côte d’Ivoire; Mme Conde Djenè Kaba, Guinée; Mme Ban Soon-taek, United Nations; Mme Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France; M. Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS; M. Michel Kazathchkine, Global Fund; Mme Aissata Issoufou, Niger; Mme Geertrui Van Rompuy, European Council; Mme Laureen Harper, Canada; Mme Svetlana Medvedeva, Russian Federation; Mme Margarida Barroso, European Commission.
Credit: Laurent Blevennec