Feature story

UNAIDS Executive Director visits Thailand

16 March 2009

UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé (left) with the Prime Minister of Thailand.
Credit: Gov. of Thailand

At the invitation of the Thai Government, UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé is in Thailand this week to discuss progress in the response to AIDS and visit projects to get a better understanding of how HIV prevention and treatment efforts are making a difference to peoples lives.

Today in Bangkok Mr Sidibé hosted a meeting with civil society partners in the region. In his meeting with national and regional civil society partners, discussions took place on closer collaboration to further the AIDS response.

During his stay Mr Sidibé will meet with the Prime Minister as well as Ministers of Public Health, Interior and Foreign Affairs. Thailand is recognized as a visionary leader in the AIDS response, particularly in scaling up services to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children. The country also has expertise on HIV counselling and testing and on sexual and reproductive health services for young people which will be one of the topics that Mr Sidibé will be discussing in detail with the Minister of Public Health.

During his country visit to Thailand, UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé met with representatives from the Thai and Regional Civil Society, Bangkok, 17 March 2009.
Credit: UNAIDS/P. de Noirmont/Asiaworks

Later in the week Mr Sidibé will visit the seaside resort of Pattaya where an HIV prevention outreach project is aiming to improve the health of the local men, women and transgendered who sell sex to tourists. Pattaya, once a quiet fishing village, is now a magnet for “sex tourism” drawing people from all over the world to buy sex.

Mr Sidibé will conclude his official visit by addressing Asian leaders at the opening of the Asia Pacific Leadership Forum.

This will be Michel Sidibé’s first official visit to Asia since becoming executive director of UNAIDS.