April 27, 2009
Chicago, Ill. -- The following statement was issued by José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC):
The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) enthusiastically supports the nomination of Dr. Eric Goosby to serve as Ambassador at Large and Global AIDS Coordinator at the US Department of State. In advancing this nomination, President Barack Obama is demonstrating a desire to ensure that his campaign pledges related to the prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS internationally are fulfilled by a compassionate, time-tested leader.
In addition to his clinical and technical expertise, Dr. Goosby has been a longtime advocate for the most vulnerable among us. His work in the United States in the early days of San Francisco's HIV epidemic, subsequently in government during the Clinton Administration (most notably providing leadership on HIV/AIDS within communities of color), and since then globally through the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation attest to a public servant who can get the job done while holding sacred the human right to health.
In the past Administration, Dr. Goosby's predecessor, Ambassador Mark Dybul, made great progress in addressing international HIV/AIDS via the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). But much work remains to strengthen the US response to the global HIV pandemic, including enhancing our efforts to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment by 2010; strengthening health systems by addressing health workforce shortages; executing a transition from emergency relief to long-term strategic planning for a sustainable response; addressing long-term factors that underlie the HIV epidemics in PEPFAR beneficiary countries; emphasizing and enhancing prevention; empowering women and girls by supporting improvements in their legal, economic, educational, and social status; and paying increased attention to marginalized populations including commercial sex workers, injection drug users, men who have sex with men, and incarcerated individuals.
IAPAC looks forward to a speedy confirmation of Dr. Goosby's nomination and, subsequently, to working with him to maintain our country's momentum in the global battle against HIV/AIDS.