MESSAGE FROM UNITE’S FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite, MD, MP

These last decades have clearly shown how HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases directly impact the lives of millions of people who live with these conditions and their families around the globe. For example:

  • 36,9 million people globally were living with HIV (UNAIDS, Global Factsheets 2018)
  • Viral hepatitis is responsible for an estimated 1.34 million deaths per year (WHO, Global Hepatitis Report 2017)
  • 10 million people fell ill with Tuberculosis in 2017 ( WHO, Global Tuberculosis Report 2018)

Infectious diseases remain one of the leading causes of death worldwide. These epidemics represent a major global health threat, as they have a significant burden on lives, communities and health systems. Moreover, these conditions are simultaneously promoters and consequences of inequalities, discrimination and social injustices.

We finally have the scientific evidence and technological means to end HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and other Infectious Diseases as global health threats. However, political awareness, advocacy, leadership and accountability are still lacking.

As representatives of Citizens, we parliamentarians must do more for the societies we live in.

Therefore, it is our mission to UNITE current and former legislators from around the world to give a coordinated, effective, and strong political response to end infectious diseases as a global health threat.

This is our goal. To contribute towards a unified global response against HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases as a priority that can no longer be delayed.

It’s time to end HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and other infectious diseases.

It’s time to UNITE.

Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite, MD, MP

Founder and President

‘UNITE – Global Parliamentarians Network to end HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and other infectious diseases’

Summary Biography

DR. RICARDO BAPTISTA LEITE, MD, MP

Medical Doctor, Member of the Portuguese National Parliament (Health and Foreign Affairs Committees), and former Deputy Mayor of Cascais.

Under the auspices of UNAIDS, founder and president of ‘UNITE – Global Parliamentarians Network to End HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Other infectious diseases’.

One of six people to have been acknowledged globally by ‘The Economist’ as an ‘HCV Change Maker’ in recognition of his leadership in the field of hepatitis C.

Head of Public Health at Católica University of Portugal, Coordinator of Sustainable Healthcare at NOVA Information Management School and Guest Lecturer at NOVA Medical School. Prior to being elected MP, 7 years as a practising physician, including a 5-year Infectious Diseases residency and an internship at WHO/EURO (Copenhagen).

Post-graduate studies in multiple universities including Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Medical School. PhD candidate at Maastricht University. Founder of ‘CREATING HEALTH – Research and Innovation Funding’ and co-founder of the ‘Estoril Conferences’.