HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Friday announced his resignation and listed President Bush's "unprecedented investments in fighting HIV/AIDS" as a major success during his tenure in his letter of resignation, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (Thompson letter, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 12/4). He added that the Bush administration's pledge to spend $15 billion over five years on international HIV/AIDS prevention and care will be critical in limiting the spread of the disease, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Bush on Friday in a statement responding to the resignation praised Thompson's work on HIV/AIDS in developing nations, according to the Journal Sentinel (Skiba, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/3). Thompson last winter traveled to Africa with a U.S. delegation of lawmakers, business people and religious groups to examine projects aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/11/03). However, Global AIDS Alliance Communications Director David Bryden criticized Thompson, who as chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria had presided over a reduction in U.S. contributions to the fund. Bryden described Thompson's actions as chair of the global fund as "very troubling" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/4). Thompson, who said he had "tried to resign" in 2003 but agreed to finish out the term at the White House's request, will remain in office until Feb. 4 or until the Senate confirms a successor, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 12/4).
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