The White House appointed Grant Colfax, MD, to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) Wednesday, according to a press release.
Colfax is the director of the HIV Prevention and Research Section in the San Francisco Department of Public Health AIDS Office, where he has been instrumental in rolling out their “test and treat” strategy. In his new role he will be tasked with implementation of the newly created National HIV/AIDS Strategy, representing the White House at the upcoming International AIDS Conference in Washington this summer, and ensuring the continuation of quality health services for people with HIV/AIDS through the Affordable Care Act. ONAP coordinates with the National Security Council and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and works with international bodies to ensure that America’s response to the global pandemic is fully integrated with other prevention, care, and treatment efforts around the world, according to the White House.
“Dr. Colfax has been instrumental in the decline of new HIV infections in San Francisco in recent years,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano in a press release. “His unique blend of experience serving on the front lines of the epidemic, implementing the national strategy at the local level, working as a direct service provider within the Ryan White CARE system, and conducting cutting-edge research makes him the right person at the right time to lead the Obama administration’s efforts to end HIV/AIDS in the United States.”
The former director, Jeff Crowley, announced his departure in November and stepped down from the post at the end of 2011.
“Until assuming his ONAP role, Dr. Colfax was also an NIH- and CDC-supported scientist studying HIV testing strategies, clinical trials of medications to treat substance dependence, and biomedical HIV prevention interventions,” according to the White House release.
Stay tuned to Science Speaks for more on this announcement.