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Sebelius Names Chair Of Presidential Advisory Council On HIV/AIDS

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).