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[Perspectives] Michel Sidibé: working to end AIDS as a public health threat

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, has the storyteller’s persuasive powers. He recounts a turning point in his life, when he had been charged with responsibility by UNICEF for promoting immunisation in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In those days, he says, it was hard to get an audience with the President, then Mobutu Sese Seko, but Sidibé persuaded the local governor to admit him, arguing that all he needed was 3 minutes of the President’s time. Sidibé found Mobutu sitting with President Habyarimana of Rwanda and President Buyoya of Burundi.