UNAIDS to establish international scientific expert panel on HIV

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Michel Sidibé (left) meets with Salim S. Abdool Karim

UNAIDS – the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has established a Scientific Expert Panel to advise on major new scientific discoveries, as well as gaps and strategic needs in AIDS research. The panel will also advise on how UNAIDS can adjust its policies to address these needs and how they can be rapidly implemented to best effect to prevent new HIV infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV.

UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé said that "In the thirty years since HIV was identified, the progress made by science has been extraordinary and its benefits have been felt far beyond those directly affected by HIV".

He explained that "To reach the end of the AIDS epidemic, we need to continue to embrace science and innovation…"

The UNAIDS chief also announced the appointment of South African scientist, Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim as Chair of the newly established UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel.

Professor Karim is the Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa–– CAPRISA -a long-standing UNAIDS Collaborating Centre. He is an epidemiologist, who has conducted research on HIV epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment over the past 25 years.

He said "Science has the power to illuminate the future path to defeating AIDS", adding that he was looking forward to the challenge.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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