Feature story

UNAIDS and PAHO strengthen collaboration towards putting an end to AIDS in the Americas

09 November 2012

L to R: Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Director of the Political and Public Affairs branch; César Antonio Núñez, Director of the Regional Support Team for Latin America; Dr Carissa Etienne, Director elected of the Pan American Health Organization; Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS; and Ernest Massiah, Director of the Regional Support Team for the Caribbean.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé met on 7 November with the recently appointed Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr Carissa Etienne at the UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva to strengthen collaboration towards putting an end to AIDS in the Americas.

"We can build on the successes of the Americas, a region that was one of the first to eliminate measles and polio,” said Mr Sidibé. “There is no reason why this region cannot be the first to end AIDS.”

During the meeting, they exchanged ideas on how to increase joint efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to ensure that health and HIV are part of the post 2015 agenda.

"As we look forward, HIV and health are key for the region, and for global development,” said Dr Etienne. “PAHO will play a key role in moving this agenda forward and with UNAIDS, the Americas can be the first region to see the end of AIDS.”

Dr Carissa Etienne, a native of Dominica, was elected as the new PAHO Director during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference that took place from 17-21 September 2012 in Washington D.C. and will begin her five-year term on 1 February 2013. Dr Etienne is currently Assistant Director General, Health Systems and Services, of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.