UNAIDS is deeply saddened by the death of Manuel da Quinta, a great professional and activist in the response to HIV and the promotion of human rights and equality

The UNAIDS family is deeply saddened by the death from COVID-19 of our dear colleague and friend, Manuel de Quinta. We offer our deepest condolences to his husband Ricardo and to his family and friends in general. 

Since 2017, Manuel worked as a UNAIDS Community Support and Human Rights Adviser for the multicountry UNAIDS Office for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. But many of us knew him in the many roles he held and the tremendous work he did around the world as part of the UNAIDS family for more than 24 years advocating for the rights and leadership of people living with HIV and the populations most vulnerable to HIV, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, migrants and refugees, sex workers, indigenous peoples and young people.

Manuel represented the essence of UNAIDS’ mission and vision and the reason why all of us get up every day to fulfil our duties and purpose. As a strong advocate for human rights and social equality, he always stood up against all forms of injustice, including internally at UNAIDS, where for many years he was the Chair of the UNAIDS Staff Association.

Manuel was an HIV activist since 1990 and accumulated a vast experience of community work with organizations working on behalf of people living with HIV in several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

He joined UNAIDS in 1997, starting in the Communications Department, managing multimedia projects on HIV. Later, in 2005, he co-founded UN Plus, an initiative that brings together United Nations system staff living with HIV. Since then, he has worked in UNAIDS teams in Geneva, Bangkok, Dakar and Buenos Aires.

Manuel was a person with great positive energy, an enormous willingness to make even the impossible possible, bringing a deep passion to everything he undertook. He was also a loyal friend to many of us.

Manuel left us at the early age of 59 years and will be deeply missed.

We wish to express our deep sorrow at his passing and to reiterate our solidarity and warmth to the great community that has worked with Manuel in the HIV response over so many years, and to all those who have known him around the world and who mourn his departure.

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