Statement by Dr. José M. Zuniga
President/CEO, IAPAC and Fast-Track Cities Institute Washington, DC, USA • 23 September 2021
The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the Fast-Track Cities Institute welcome news of the Biden Administration’s intent to nominate Dr. John Nkengasong, founding Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to serve as the new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and lead the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Throughout his career, Dr. Nkengasong has exemplified an unwavering commitment to science and to addressing public health challenges in a manner that recognizes persistent health and social inequities. He also has exhibited requisite traits needed to fulfill the role of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, including accountability, commitment, engagement, and tenacity – all of which are needed if we are to regain forward momentum toward ending the global HIV pandemic. For these reasons, IAPAC and the Fast-Track Cities Institute will unreservedly support Dr. Nkengasong’s nomination and confirmation, while also calling on the African Union to appoint a worthy successor to take the reins of the Africa CDC at this critical juncture.
These are challenging times during which the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global HIV response. If we are to realize the promise of the Global AIDS Strategy (2021-2026), we will need to leverage PEPFAR’s ability to deploy U.S. government funding and work through strategic partnerships to save millions of lives. This ability can also serve as a powerful adjunct to national, regional, and international efforts to scale-up COVID-19 vaccination efforts so that vaccine equity can also be realized for every person in every country.
With a bold, qualified, and passionate leader at the helm of the U.S. global AIDS response, we have every reason to hope that progress can be made across our responses to the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics, notably in countries and municipalities where the pace of progress is lagging.
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About the IAPAC and the Fast-Track Cities Institute
With more than 30,000 members globally, IAPAC is the largest association of clinicians and allied health professionals working to end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis by 2030. IAPAC is also the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative and the Secretariat for its Fast-Track Cities Institute. For more information about IAPAC and our global activities, please visit: https://www.iapac.org/