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WHO uses work on tuberculosis in Lima as model for tackling AIDS

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7460.252 (Published 29 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:252
  1. Fiona Fleck
  1. Geneva

    Could the key to reversing the AIDS pandemic lie in the pioneering work on treating multidrug resistant tuberculosis in the slums of Lima and in Siberia's prisons? That was at least part of the calculation made by the head of the World Health Organization, Dr Lee Jong-wook, when he decided in March to hire Dr Jim Yong Kim as director of WHO's department of HIV and AIDS.

    Dr Kim, also a Korean, is an expert on tuberculosis who helped develop treatment in poorly resourced settings for the multidrug resistant strain of tuberculosis (MDR TB), which was previously thought to be untreatable.

    When Dr Lee took up his post as WHO director general last July he first invited the 44 year old associate professor from Harvard Medical School and health activist to be his adviser.

    But after working quietly behind the scenes Dr Kim became better known when Dr Lee appointed him not only director of the HIV and AIDS department but also head of the controversial “3 by 5” project to scale up treatment of AIDS in poor countries. Under the scheme WHO has set a global target of getting three million people with HIV or AIDS in developing and middle income countries treated with antiretrovirals by 2005.

    Dr Kim …

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