Press statement

UNAIDS mourns sad loss of leading AIDS activist Winstone Zulu

GENEVA, 13 October 2011—The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is deeply saddened by the death of one of the world’s leading AIDS activists Winstone Zulu.

Mr Zulu was the first Zambian to talk openly about his HIV status. A bold decision taken at a time when HIV-related stigma and discrimination were widespread and ignorance around the disease prevailed.

He quickly became a strong global advocate on AIDS issues including stigma, HIV prevention, access to treatment and care, human rights, empowering people living with HIV, education, and the threat that Tuberculosis poses to people living with HIV. Mr Zulu himself was affected by TB and campaigned for increased resources and improved programs for TB and TB/HIV co-infection.

Mr Zulu also founded the Positive and Living Squad––the first Group of People Living with HIV in Zambia which effectively launched Kara Counselling one of Zambia’s first non-governmental organizations. For this effort he won the It Works Award from the Norwegian Government.

“Many of us at UNAIDS and the international AIDS movement learned from Winstone more than two decades ago that AIDS has a human face—and that everything we do on AIDS is about people: their ability to love and be loved, to protect and be protected and to live fulfilling lives,” said UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe. “We will miss him so much.”

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Sophie Barton-Knott
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