CARE's Dr. Gayle tapped to advise Obama administration on HIV/AIDS

October 20, 2009 9:35:52 AM PDT
The Obama administration has named CARE President and CEO Helene Gayle chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. "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," President Obama said. "Dr. Gayle brings an intense commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and unique experience in advancing public health. I look forward to her leadership and counsel."

The part-time, voluntary post will complement Dr. Gayle's ongoing leadership of CARE, whose fight against global poverty, much like world's response to HIV and AIDS, is firmly focused on women and girls.

"I would like to thank President Obama and Secretary Sebelius for the opportunity to serve in a fight I feel so passionately about," Dr. Gayle said. "Few things demonstrate how interconnected the world is today more than the AIDS epidemic and the U.S. government's response to it. I look forward to helping shape a strategy that not only promotes research, effective prevention and quality care but also reflects the underlying reasons why people are vulnerable to HIV and AIDS."

In April 2006, Dr. Gayle joined CARE, further integrating the fight against HIV and AIDS into the organization's efforts to improve maternal health, expand economic opportunities for women and promote girls' leadership and education. AIDS remains the largest killer of mothers in some of the nearly 70 countries where CARE works. And reduced infection rates are among the benefits seen from programs that help women adapt to climate change, for instance, or start their own businesses with microloans.

Before coming to CARE, Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS. She served as the AIDS coordinator and chief of the HIV/AIDS division for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and later directed the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the planned appointment at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.

"Dr. Gayle is an internationally acclaimed leader with a long history of working to end the epidemic both around the world and here at home in the United States," said Secretary Sebelius. "It is only fitting that we are announcing Dr. Gayle's appointment today at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference since she sponsored the first HIV Prevention Conference when she was at the CDC. We are hopeful that the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, under her leadership, will serve a platform to share our plans and insights with the public health community and the public and serve as a vehicle to carry their ideas and input back to the administration."

For more information, visit www.care.org


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