Simon Bland responds to Piot's 10 AIDS myths

A personal response to Peter Piot’s keynote speech at our 20th Anniversary Convention last month.

Last month, Professor Peter Piot delivered a stirring keynote address at our event to mark the 20th anniversary of the Alliance. He called on the AIDS movement to “take a long cold, hard look at the lessons learned, and counter what he sees as the dangerous myths that could lead to a collective state of denial.”

Simon Bland CBE, Director of the New York Liaison Office at UNAIDS and former Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, has written his own reflections on Piot’s address (10 Myths about the AIDS Response). 

He says he did this “as a way of further understanding debates, positions, challenges and opportunities for the post 2015 negotiations.”

In his response (which you can download in full here) he reflects that the post 2015 development agenda is important but agrees with Peter that if it fails to adequately capture the world’s health needs it will be irrelevant.

He writes, “I believe that we must define the HIV/AIDS agenda and not have it defined for us. It is in this spirit that I wanted to consider each of Peter’s myths. While I have heard some heated debates around these issues, I think you need only scratch the surface to see that there is much more that unites us than divides us.”

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, UNAIDS.