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Helene Gayle Named Chair of Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

August 25, 2009

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday named Helene Gayle, president and chief executive of the charity CARE USA, as the chair the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports.

"Gayle, former head of AIDS research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," who also "headed AIDS efforts at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" will advise President Obama "on fighting the virus, which has infected an estimated 1 million Americans and 33 million people globally," the news service writes (8/24).

During the announcement at the HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, "Sebelius said in her speech that while the global fight against HIV/AIDS has been an ambitious one, the fight against the preventable disease in the U.S. has suffered from complacency," Southern Voice reports. "PEPFAR [the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] has been a great success. But while we've made strides in Africa and around the world, our progress towards ending the disease here in the U.S. has stalled," Sebelius said (Bagby, 8/24).

Reuters adds: "As we organize numerous ways to engage the American people in confronting the HIV epidemic in our country, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS will play a critical role in developing and implementing a national HIV/AIDS strategy," Obama said in a written statement (8/24).

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