After nine months serving as unofficial U.S. Global AIDS coordinator, Mark Dybul was sworn in as AIDS ambassador last October, cementing his dominion over the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its multibillion dollar impact on the global epidemic. Dybul is the third openly gay man ever appointed to any U.S. ambassadorship. The ceremony received national attention not for its AIDS significance, but because weeks before an election packed with state ballot initiatives banning gay marriage, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warmly referred to Dybul’s partner’s mother as his mother-in-law, rankling some conservatives. Dybul has dramatically improved PEPFAR’s ability to provide drugs by purchasing generics, unlike his predecessor Randall Tobias. Dybul maintains the president’s conservative party line on prevention, pushing abstinence and denouncing sex work. Dybul told POZ, “The goal is to save and improve as many lives as we can, as rapidly as we can.”