Finally, a strong and seasoned voice in the White House to defend global AIDS spending and advance the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The full Senate confirmed Dr. Eric Goosby to be the new the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator on Friday.
As we said in a news release applauding the vote, Congress now needs to give Dr. Goosby a sufficient budget to maintain momentum in the global fight against AIDS.
Here’s the full release that went out Friday evening.
Global HIV/AIDS Experts Cheer Confirmation of Eric Goosby to Head OGAC
Call on Congress to Fully Fund PEPFAR
The Center for Global Health Policy and the HIV Medicine Association applauded today’s Senate confirmation of Eric Goosby, MD, to lead the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC). Congressional leaders must now give Dr. Goosby adequate resources to maintain momentum in the battle against global AIDS.
Dr. Goosby will bring a wealth of experience and vision to OGAC, but he will need robust resources to move the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) forward and to realize the ambitious goals Congress identified in its reauthorization of the program last year.
“We are thrilled to see a colleague with such vast clinical and policy experience responding to the HIV pandemic take the helm of the nation’s global AIDS program,” said Arlene Bardeguez, MD, Board Chair for the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA).
PEPFAR has achieved incredible success in saving lives from HIV and staving off new infections. But the scope of the AIDS epidemic remains immense, and the U.S. cannot afford to step back from its commitment to scaling-up treatment and prevention. The newly reauthorized PEPFAR program calls for stepped-up leadership and resources to increase the pool of trained medical providers and to ensure that U.S. funding is targeted to evidence-based interventions validated by scientific research.
An estimated 33 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS; nearly 6,000 die every day. In 2007, there were 2.7 million new HIV infections worldwide, and more than 350,000 of those were among children, mostly through preventable mother-to-child transmissions. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in persons with HIV in the developing world, and interventions to identify, prevent and treat TB in HIV-infected patients require greater scale-up and coordination.
“ A more expansive and flexible PEPFAR, led by someone of Eric Goosby’s talent, experience and commitment, holds the promise of saving the lives of millions through effective prevention and treatment, while also building health care capacity and infrastructure that can serve as a platform to respond to a range of health conditions that plague poor communities,” said Kenneth Mayer, MD, co-chair of the Center for Global Health Policy’s Scientific Advisory Committee and a professor of medicine and community health at Brown University, where he directs the AIDS Program. “As scientists, clinicians and public health experts, we stand ready to work shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Goosby, Congress and the Administration to ensure that the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and the PEPFAR program have the resources and support necessary to realize the goals of this lifesaving initiative,” Dr. Mayer said.
Until his confirmation to the post of Ambassador at Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Goosby served as a member of Center for Global Health Policy’s Scientific Advisory Committee and on HIVMA’s Board of Directors.