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April 28, 2009

Obama Names Eric Goosby as Global AIDS Coordinator

Eric Goosby, MD, will replace Ambassador Mark Dybul as U.S. global AIDS coordinator, President Barack Obama announced April 27.

A senior AIDS official under former President Bill Clinton, Reuters reports, Goosby will direct American efforts to combat the epidemic globally and will oversee the George W. Bush–initiated President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which will spend $48 billion during the next five years to fund prevention and treatment programs overseas.

“Dr. Goosby has always been an advocate for evidence-based prevention policy, a perspective that is much needed in our global response to the epidemic,” said Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). “We must do more to implement evidence-based policies such as harm reduction and age-appropriate sex education, and Dr. Goosby has a keen understanding of what needs to be done.”

The Global AIDS Alliance also applauded Goosby’s selection, but it is urging him to fulfill a campaign pledge to double U.S. foreign assistance from $25 billion to at least $50 billion by 2012.

“The president’s [Fiscal Year 2010] budget request is well below what is required to keep that promise,” the group said in a statement, adding that Goosby “has a unique opportunity to hold the Obama administration accountable for its campaign promises to increase funding for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS overseas.”

According to Reuters, Goosby is a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California in San Francisco and the chief executive and chief medical officer of the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, a nonprofit consulting group. Under Clinton, he was deputy director of the White House National AIDS Policy Office and director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The PEPFAR program has already saved millions of lives in sub-Saharan Africa and other hard-hit areas around the world,” Goosby said in a statement, as reported by The New York Times. “But significant challenges relating to the prevention and treatment of HIV remain.”

Search: Barack Obama, Eric Goosby, Mark Dybul, Bill Clinton, PEPFAR, amfAR, Global AIDS Alliance

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