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Michel D. Kazatchkine
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Michel Kazatchkine has spent the past 25 years fighting AIDS and working to improve global health as a leading physician, researcher, advocate, policymaker, diplomat and administrator.

Professor Michel Kazatchkine attended medical school at Necker-Enfants-Malades in Paris, studied immunology at the Pasteur Institute and completed postdoctoral fellowships at St Mary’s hospital in London and Harvard Medical School.

His involvement with HIV began in 1983, when, as a young clinical immunologist, he treated a French couple who had returned from Africa with unexplained fever and severe immune deficiency. By 1985, he had started a clinic in Paris specializing in AIDS, which now treats over 1,600 people.

From 1998 to 2005, Dr. Kazatchkine directed the French National Research Agency (ANRS), the world’s second largest AIDS research program. During this time, ANRS shifted its focus from domestic research to work in Africa and the developing world, including pioneering clinical trials of antiretroviral drugs for treatment and for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. At the same time, he was Head of the Department of Clinical Immunology at the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou and Professor of Medicine at the Université René Descartes, in Paris. Dr Kazatchkine has produced more than 600 research papers focusing on auto-immunity, drug therapy, immuno-intervention and HIV pathogenesis, in addition to serving on numerous editorial boards.

From 2005 to 2007, Dr Kazatchkine was France’s global ambassador for HIV/AIDS and transmissible diseases. As Ambassador he championed France’s contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the establishment of Unitaid. He also represented France at the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS at the UN General Assembly in May 2006 and was focal point on health in the French delegation to the St Petersburg Summit of G8 leaders.

Between 2002 and 2005 Dr Kazatchkine served as the first Chair of the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, leading the development of the Fund’s rigorous, transparent and accountable process for reviewing grant applications. He served as Vice-Chair of the Board of the Global Fund between 2005 and 2006.

In 2007, Dr Kazatchkine was elected to succeed Sir Richard Feachem as Executive Director of the Global Fund. In his five years at the helm of the Fund, more than $20 billion in additional donor commitments and pledges were mobilized. Dr Kazatchkine oversaw a major expansion of the Global Fund’s operations and grant portfolio, establishing the Fund as the major international financer of health programs. As Executive Director, he strongly emphasized the Fund’s role as a model partnership for development at the national and global levels and promoted innovative approaches to health financing, including Debt2Health and the Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria. His leadership of the Global Fund consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s leading advocates for health and human rights.

Dr Kazatchkine has served on a number of major international Boards and Committees including as Chair of the World Health Organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS and as a member of WHO’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on Tuberculosis.

In 2012, Dr Kazatchkine was appointed as the UN Secretary General ‘s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the part of the world where the AIDS epidemic is expanding at the fastest rate.

He is the recipient of numerous national and international honours and awards.

Entries by Michel D. Kazatchkine

Postcard From Belarus

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 3:25 PM

On a recent visit to Belarus, I was thinking about the country's multi-cultural heritage arising from its shared history with Lithuania, Poland and Russia, together with its more recent Soviet past. The geographical reality is however that over two thirds of its borders to the South and to the East...

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Is Armenia Close to Ending AIDS?

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 4:57 PM

As it is the case throughout the East European and Central Asian region, unsafe drug injection has been a driver of the HIV epidemic in Armenia over the last 15 years, though far less today than, say, a decade ago. 40 percent of people who inject drugs are estimated to...

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World AIDS Day: Zero Infections in Turkmenistan?

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 4:58 PM

My first ever visit to Turkmenistan last week was an eye opener on so many levels. I was there presenting at an international seminar on "Health and diplomacy" that brought together participants from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs from all five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,...

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Tuberculosis: A Crisis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia That the West Cannot Ignore

(1) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 5:20 PM

Few young doctors in my own country France would currently wish to specialize in phtisiology. Actually, and for over 30 years, the word "phtisiology" had disappeared from the letterheads of lung diseases divisions in hospitals. The focus of pneumology these days is on chronic lung disease and cancer much more...

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Postcard From New York: Taking Control of Drug Policy

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 7:35 PM

I am writing this from New York where I am spending the week advocating for reform of the international drug control régime with the Global Commission on Drug Policy and participating in the media launch of its latest report Taking control: pathways to drug policies that work, at...

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Stepping Up the Pace Means Leaving Nobody Behind

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 12:00 PM

Ahead of the 20th International AIDS Conference which I will be attending in Melbourne, Australia, next week, I wanted to reflect on the event's timely focus on those -- "key affected" populations -- sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID) transgender...

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A Life of Dignitiy for All

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 4:48 PM

This post is a speech given by Michel Kazatchkine on the opening day of the 4th Conference on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

As we open this conference, I would like to salute the physicians, scientists, healthcare and social workers, representatives of civil society and...

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We Have Consensus Houston

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 4:37 PM

One of the unreported key events in the mainstream media at the recently concluded 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna was the coming together of scientists from all over the world with clear consensus statements on what science tells us today on drugs...

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Postcard From Vienna: Europe's Stance on International Drug Policy

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 5:58 PM

There is no doubt that the debate on international drug policy is gathering pace and, this week in Vienna, we have before us an opportunity in Europe to contribute to that discussion.

This year the annual UN-sponsored Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting here will feature a High Level...

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Is Moldova Leading the World on Harm Reduction in Prisons?

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 11:09 AM

Recently in Moldova visiting government officials, I was invited to visit the prison 15 in Cricovia which houses some 550 inmates.

A 30 minute ride from Chisinau, Moldova's capital, and set amongst gentle hills and vineyards, prison 15 was built by the Soviets in the fifties and is reasonably...

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Nelson Mandela and the Fight Against AIDS

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 1:51 PM

It was the second day of the International conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Paris, in July 2003. There wasn't a spare single seat that night in the main hall of the Palais des Congrès.

I take Nelson Mandela to the front of the stage. He was...

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Commemorating the Alma Ata Declaration

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 10:52 AM

Last week was a fascinating one. On Monday I delivered a memorial lecture at the City Health 2013 conference in Glasgow in honour of Allison Chesney and Eddie Killoran, two profoundly respected harm reduction activists. Much of the lecture focused on the failure of the HIV/AIDS...

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The Changing Nature of the Eastern European and Central Asian HIV Epidemic

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 12:24 PM

I was in Brussels earlier this week delivering a speech at the European AIDS Conference and coming on top of the visit to Romania last week, it's given me some valuable time to reflect on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region a year or so into the job as the...

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Drug Policy Descends on Geneva

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 10:37 AM

All the members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) will meet in Geneva this week and it has certainly been a privilege to be a part of the Commission's efforts these past three years and I have to admit, an exciting group to be working with.

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Nobody Left Behind

(4) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 6:52 PM

I was in London this week attending a meeting on the impact of treatment as prevention (TasP) on Key Affected Populations (KAPS), a gathering of minds, I think, that has the potential to be a pivotal moment in the way we decide to respond to HIV/AIDS in those global "hotspots"...

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Can Ukraine Lead the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia?

(1) Comments | Posted December 1, 2012 | 4:30 PM

There is understandably much cause for hope in the current talk around an AIDS-free generation and Ending AIDS. As last week's UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report pointed out, intensive scale-up of treatment, prevention and care has now resulted in dramatic reductions in AIDS-related deaths and new...

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No Funding, No AIDS Free Generation

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2011 | 1:44 PM

In a modern, globalized world, the country in which you live or the income you earn should not determine whether or not your child will become HIV positive. And yet in my country, France, only three babies were infected last year with HIV during their mothers' pregnancy, labor, delivery, or...

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The Power of a Letter

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 11:44 AM

It is an incredibly rewarding feeling to see the work to which you've dedicated your life being championed by others. For that, I would like to offer my most sincere thanks to Morgan Freeman, Annie Lennox, Deepak Chopra, Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou and the many other inspiring individuals who have...

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Makings AIDS History

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 4:32 PM

"Making AIDS history," this year's Capitol Hill conference organized by amfAR the Foundation for AIDS research, is of particular significance as the world marks the 30th anniversary of AIDS but also amfAR's 25th anniversary.

As we look back on what we have accomplished in this fight over the last...

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Partnerships That Save Lives

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2011 | 2:06 PM

Anyone who despairs at the sheer scale of the challenge that AIDS represents should hear the story of Jacqueline, a 21-year-old Brazilian mother who I met this week in Sao Paulo during a Global Fund conference. She was born HIV-positive and grew up destitute, but was put on treatment as...

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