Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Melbourne to launch International AIDS Society conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the deliver keynote speech at World AIDS Day in Melbourne.
Suu Kyi is visiting Australia to attend a United Nations AIDS conference in Sydney as part of her UN role and appears in Melbourne on December 1 for the official launch the International AIDS Society conference which takes place in Melbourne next July
Professor Sharon Lewin, co-chair of the Conference, said the visit was timely.
“A combination of political will, financial commitment and scientific progress is necessary to defeat HIV,” Lewin said.
“Aung San Suu Kyi’s inspiring story and involvement in World AIDS Day in Melbourne helps us to highlight the ongoing challenge to deliver treatment and prevention programs in Australia and internationally.”
“We are honoured to have Aung San Suu Kyi in Melbourne to launch World AIDS Day.” Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Mens Health Centre president Michael Williams told MCV.
“She is an esteemed human rights activist who has fought a long personal battle for political freedom for the people of Myanmar. She is also a UN Global Ambassador for the fight to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with HIV. In the run-up to the AIDS 2014 Conference next July in Melbourne, Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit reminds us of the need to focus on the needs of our near Asian neighbours and their particular problems in getting treatments and care programs for the many people affected by HIV in their countries.”
Chair of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund, Wendy McCarthy, said Suu Kyi’s presence as a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador would focus the attention of the world on Melbourne.
Ian Muchamore, President of Living Positive Victoria (LPV) said: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s story of resilience is an example to all of us of what attributes are needed for us, both as individuals and as a community, to continue to combat HIV.”
LPV Positive Speakers Bureau’s John Manwaring said: “Being asked to share our experiences as HIV positive people alongside those fighting HIV at such a public and international level demonstrates the central and vital role of HIV positive people in the fight against HIV”.