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January 16, 2009

Former UNAIDS Head Peter Piot Joins the Gates Foundation

Peter Piot, MD, PhD, former founding executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS) and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, has agreed to serve briefly as a health adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. He will hold that post until May, when he will move to Imperial College in London to launch a global health program.

Piot has previously criticized the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic efforts for directing too much of its funding toward research projects such as searching for a malaria vaccine. He has always urged for improved delivery of medications to poor countries lacking in effective health infrastructures.

“Setting up [delivery] programs in developing countries was our main activity,” said Piot in reference to UNAIDS, which he helmed for 13 years.

Piot added that despite efforts by UNAIDS and other AIDS treatment advocates, five HIV-positive people die for every two who get antiretroviral treatment.

Search: Peter Piot, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNAIDS

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