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Professor Peter Piot

Kirsty Young's castaway is Professor Peter Piot, microbiologist and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Peter Piot.

As a microbiologist he is known for his research into viruses and into the public health aspects of sexually transmitted diseases, and, more recently, on the politics of AIDS and global health. Born in Leuven in Belgium, he studied medicine and in 1976, as a young researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, he was sent a blood sample of a Belgian nun living in what was then Zaire who had fallen ill with a mysterious disease. On investigation, Piot and his colleagues realised it was a virus they'd not seen before which they went on to identify as Ebola. He then travelled to Zaire to help quell the outbreak.

Later, back in Antwerp, he developed an interest in sexually transmitted diseases and joined the World Health Organisation's Global Programme on HIV/AIDS in 1992. Appointed as Executive Director of the newly created Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in late 1994 his major successes were putting AIDS on the political agenda and achieving a reduction in the price of antiretroviral drugs.

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Toumani Diabaté

    Si Naani

    • The Mandé Variations.
    • World Circuit.
  • Jacques Brel

    Le Plat Pays

    • Jacques Brel Vol. 1.
    • Polygram Distribution.
  • Bob Dylan

    Like a Rolling Stone

    • Highway 61 Revisited.
    • Columbia.
  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

    Stabat Mater

    Performer: Academy of Ancient Music. Performer: Christopher Hogwood. Performer: Emma Kirkby. Performer: James Bowman.
    • Pergolesi: Stabat Mater.
    • Decca.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Kommt, ihr Tochter, helft mir klagen from St Matthew Passion

    Performer: Choir and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale Gent. Performer: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • Saint Matthew Passion.
    • Harmonia.
  • Franco

    Attention Na Sida

    • Franco: The Very Best of the Rhumba Giant of Zaire.
    • Manteca.

    • Christoph Willibald Gluck

      Che faro senza Euridice? From Orfeo ed Euridice

      Performer: Kathleen Ferrier. Performer: Glyndebourne Chorus. Performer: Southern Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Fritz Stiedry.
      • Kathleen Ferrier - Vol. 1 Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice.
      • Decca.
  • Stromae


    • Racine Carrée.
    • Mosaert.

    The Complete works of Hugo Claus


    An old English rose


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Peter Piot
Producer Cathy Drysdale


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