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May 2, 2007

Peter Piot, head of UNAIDS, to discuss AIDS as pandemic and agent for change

Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS and under secretary-general of the United Nations, will deliver the 2007 Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecture. Titled "AIDS: Pandemic and Agent for Change," the lecture is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, in Kresge Auditorium.

Alan M. Garber, director of the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford, will introduce Piot, an expert on AIDS and women's health in the developing world. The event, sponsored by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, is free and open to the public.

As the head of UNAIDS since its creation in 1995, Piot has challenged world leaders to view AIDS in the context of social and economic development as well as security. Under his leadership, UNAIDS has become the chief advocate of worldwide action against the disease.

Piot, a native of Belgium, earned a medical degree from the University of Ghent and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Antwerp. He was a senior fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. After graduating from medical school, Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976. In the 1980s, he launched and expanded a series of projects in Burundi, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania and Zaire. Projet SIDA (Project AIDS) in Kinshasa, Zaire, was the first international project on AIDS in Africa and is widely acknowledged as having provided the foundation for understanding HIV infection in Africa.

Piot has been a professor of microbiology and of public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and at universities in Brussels; Lausanne, Switzerland; and Nairobi, Kenya. In 1992, he was named associate director of the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS in Geneva.

Born in 1949, Piot is the author of 16 books and more than 500 scientific articles. He has received numerous awards for scientific and societal achievements and was made a baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 1995.



Lisa Trei, News Service: (650) 725-0224,


Judith Paulus, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies: (650) 723-8490,

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