IAPAC Welcomes Francisco Ruiz as New ONAP Director

 Statement by IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga

8 April 2024 – Washington, DC

“The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) extends a warm welcome to Francisco Ruiz as the new Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). He steps into this critical role at a pivotal moment in the country’s HIV response. We want to express our deep gratitude to former ONAP Director Harold Phillips for his dedication and leadership in advancing the national HIV response during his tenure, providing a foundation for Mr. Ruiz to build upon to achieve the goals of the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).

As the transition in ONAP leadership takes place, it is essential to recognize the urgency of the moment. Mr. Ruiz and the entire US HIV community face the dual challenges of meeting the ambitious NHAS goals and targets in the US Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) strategy, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The path forward demands unwavering commitment, innovative strategies, and bold action to accelerate progress, while addressing barriers to progress, including racism, stigma, and social determinants of health.

Achieving greater impact across the country requires a focused approach, particularly in the 48 county jurisdictions, Washington, DC, and San Juan, PR, as well as the seven states prioritized for the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. Mr. Ruiz’s leadership will be instrumental in driving collaboration, resource allocation, and targeted interventions to address disparities and gaps in HIV prevention, treatment, care, and social support within these communities, with a notable focus on marginalized and vulnerable populations. Engagement with Fast-Track Cities across the United States offers a valuable opportunity to leverage collective expertise and resources, fostering synergy, and closing gaps across the HIV care continuum.

In welcoming Mr. Ruiz, IAPAC reaffirms our commitment to working alongside him, ONAP and federal partners, and the broader HIV community to realize our collective vision of a future in which new HIV infections are exceedingly rare and AIDS-related deaths no longer occur. Together, we can confront the challenges ahead with determination, compassion, and unity, ensuring that no one is left behind in our pursuit of health equity and social justice in the US HIV response.”

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Representing 30,000 members, IAPAC is the largest association of clinicians and allied health professionals working to end the epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis, as well as eliminate HBV and HCV. IAPAC is also a core technical partner to the Fast-Track Cities network and the Secretariat for its Fast-Track Cities Institute. For more information about IAPAC, visit: https://www.iapac.org/