AIDS Researcher Mary Guinan to Leave Post as Nevada’s Chief Health Officer
Dr. Mary Guinan, who investigated the first cases of AIDS as a researcher at the CDC, last week resigned her post as Nevada's chief health officer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. "She has an incredible background. No one is more renowned in the field of HIV and AIDS," Yvonne Sylva, administrator of the state's health division, said. Guinan, whose work is documented in the book "And the Band Played On," by Randy Shilts, worked at the CDC for 20 years and was a member of the task force that investigated the first AIDS cases. "I took care of HIV patients for years. During the first few years, we had very little to offer patients except supportive care. It's been a miracle with these new cocktail drugs. The average time from HIV to the onset of AIDS used to be 10 years; now we hope nobody will ever actually get AIDS," Guinan said. She said it was "just time" for her to leave her post in Nevada, where she plans to continue teaching preventative medicine at the school of medicine in Reno. She will also consult on infectious diseases and bioterrorism. Sylva said it could take up to two years to find a replacement for Guinan, whose resignation is effective Dec. 7 (Babula, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.