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Why AIDS is exceptional

Dr Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and under secretary general of the United Nations, will focus on the reasons why AIDS is an exceptional threat to humanity in a public lecture on Tuesday 8 February at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The 2004 annual report by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) showed the number of adults and children living with HIV reached its highest level ever in 2004 - an estimated 39.4 million, compared to about 36.6 million two years ago:

  • Over 3 million people died of the illness in 2004 and 5 million were newly infected. New infections have climbed by nearly 50 per cent in East Asia and 40 per cent in Eastern Europe and Central Asia since 2002.
  • Over 80 per cent of HIV positive people in Eastern Europe are under 30 years of age.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa, where 25.4 million people are infected with the virus, is the worst affected region of the world.
  • 64 per cent of all HIV positive people worldwide and 76 per cent of all women living with HIVare in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Tony Barnett, LSE, will chair this event.

The lecture is on Tuesday 8 February at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A. This event is free and open to all with no ticket required.


To reserve a press seat, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.Winterstein@lse.ac.uk| 


This lecture is one of a series of public lectures about HIV/AIDS held under the auspices of LSEAIDS. It is sponsored by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

LSEAIDS brings together leading social scientists at the LSE to confront the social and economic implications of HIV/ AIDS. The goals of LSEAIDS are to:

  • understand the social, economic and historical roots of the epidemic;
  • understand how the epidemic affects social, economic and environmental futures;
  • develop practical policy responses in relation to prevention, treatment and care, and impact mitigation;
  • offer policy research and training to business, government, international and civil society organisations.


To read a transcript of this lecture, click here|

Press cuttings

Peter Piot: Why Aids demands an exceptional response
From a speech by the executive director of UNAIDS to LSE. 

31 January 2005