Director of CDC HIV/AIDS Program to Temporarily Head Gates Foundation’s HIV/AIDS-Related Activities
Dr. Helene Gayle, head of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, will serve as a senior adviser on HIV/AIDS to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced yesterday (HHS release, 5/15). The move will be full-time but temporary, the Wall Street Journal reports, as Gayle will work with the foundation for two years, focusing on AIDS prevention in Botswana and India (Wall Street Journal, 5/16). Gayle, who has served as director of the center since 1995, will begin with the Gates Foundation on Sept. 1. "It is my profound belief that solutions to this pandemic ... will come only through strong public/private partnerships. It is gratifying to see the commitment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to forging these partnerships," Gayle said, adding that she is "honored to have the opportunity to help lead their efforts." As director of the CDC's HIV/AIDS efforts, Gayle expanded "community-based" HIV prevention programs, "launch[ed]" an international HIV/AIDS initiative and expanded the center's tuberculosis eradication efforts. She currently oversees 1,400 employees and a $1 billion budget. Thompson said, "We are committed to a global effort to support prevention of HIV, and to provide help for people who have the disease ... I am happy that we will be able to loan to the Gates Foundation the talent and experience of Dr. Helene Gayle," adding that Gayle "will provide invaluable depth of knowledge and the ability to coordinate efforts across public and private sector lines, and across boundaries, to make the fullest possible use of our resources against this scourge." CDC Director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan said Gayle has made "extraordinary contributions" to the fight against HIV/AIDS and "will continue to effectively champion the cause through her new position" (HHS release, 5/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.