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Co-Editor, Richard Burzynski has been involved with HIV/AIDS since 1985 when he organized the First Canadian Conference on AIDS in Montreal which brought together advocates and activists from across the country. He was the co-founder of a local organization in Montreal (1985-1988) and then co-founder and first Executive Director of the Canadian AIDS Society (1988-1993). He co-founded the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations - ICASO - along with activists and advocates from across the world at the 2nd International NGO Conference on HIV and AIDS in Paris in 1991 and became its first Executive Director (1993-2008).
During his tenure at ICASO, he helped coordinate a global advocacy coalition and became a frequent advisor for UNAIDS including its creation. In 2001, he was appointed as the lead facilitator for civil society at the UN General Assembly Special Session on AIDS. He also addressed the General Assembly as an openly gay man that year.
Richard was also appointed to the Transitional Working Group (TWG), responsible for the creation of the Global Fund. From 2002-2006, Richard served as the Communication Focal Point (CFP) and convenor for the “Implementation Block” comprised of delegates from developing countries, NGOs and people living and affected by the 3 diseases. He developed the CFP model used today by delegations at the Global Fund Board, UNITAID and other global coordinating bodies. Richard was also part of a team that created the first dual-track financing mechanism used by the GF in Senegal in 2004.
Richard joined UNAIDS in 2009 as a Senior Advisor in the Rights, Gender, Prevention and Community Mobilization Department. He has supported the development of the UN’s first strategy to address the HIV/health and human rights needs of gay men and other men who have sex with men. He is the focal point for LGBTI issues within the UNAIDS Secretariat.
Co-Editor, Christina Dideriksen is a graduate of Duke University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Duke University (again) and has been fortunate to travel often for both work and pleasure. A lifelong advocate of the right for people to love how and who they want, Christina's primary focus is HIV and community development. She is the founder of Usalama Barabarani, a program using community led drama for road traffic safety and education in Tanzania.