Biden to appoint African-born doctor to lead HIV / AIDS response | Health Info
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden said on Monday that he intends to appoint Dr John N. Nkengasong to coordinate the US response to the global HIV / AIDS epidemic.
Nkengasong, an American citizen born in Cameroon, would be the first person of African descent to hold the post. The Senate must approve his eventual appointment.
If confirmed, Nkengasong would become a roving ambassador to the State Department, overseeing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. The most recent post was Dr Deborah Birx, who in 2020 became coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under then-President Donald Trump. Birx left the government after Biden took office.
Nkengasong, virologist, currently heads the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an African Union specialized technical institution based in Ethiopia.
Through PEPFAR, which was established by President George W. Bush in 2003, the United States has invested more than $ 85 billion in the global response to HIV / AIDS, the largest single country’s commitment to a single sickness. The State Department credits the initiative with saving more than 20 million lives and preventing millions of HIV infections.
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