via PR Newswire

San Francisco AIDS Foundation applauds President Obama’s selection of Dr. Grant Colfax to become director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Dr. Colfax is uniquely suited to continue the momentum established under his predecessor, Mr. Jeffrey Crowley, in advancing the ambitious goals outlined in the president’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy and moving us closer to an AIDS-free generation.

“Dr. Colfax has been instrumental in the decline of new HIV infections in San Francisco in recent years,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano. “His unique blend of experience serving on the front lines of the epidemic, implementing the national strategy at the local level, working as a direct service provider within the Ryan White CARE system, and conducting cutting-edge research makes him the right person at the right time to lead the Obama administration’s efforts to end HIV/AIDS in the United States.”

The Office of National AIDS Policy provides essential leadership in addressing the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. As director, Dr. Colfax will be required to take a fresh look at how resources can be targeted to reduce HIV infection rates, increase access to treatment, and decrease HIV-associated health disparities related to sexual orientation, race, gender, and socio-economic status in hard-hit communities across the country. His track record in San Francisco demonstrates he is well suited for this challenge.

“Dr. Colfax will play a critical role over the next several years to ensure the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and HIV service integration to address the health care needs of people living with HIV,” said Ernest Hopkins, director of legislative affairs at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Having worked closely with him on complex issues and having seen his consensus-building skills among diverse populations, including communities of color, I am confident that the AIDS community will have a strong advocate within the administration. I know Dr. Colfax will work to ensure that the coming changes to our health care system are made thoughtfully, carefully, and with a strong focus on improving the health status of the most vulnerable people.”

As director of the HIV Prevention and Research Section at San Francisco Department of Public Health, Dr. Colfax elevated the role of community-based health research in local planning and funding decisions and instituted innovative, evidence-based HIV prevention tools, such as measuring and mapping community viral load and enhancing HIV testing and linkage to care, making San Francisco’s HIV prevention planning and service system a model for jurisdictions across the nation. When developing the city’s most recent HIV prevention plan with diverse stakeholders, Dr. Colfax was mindful to ensure its consistency with the emerging National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Throughout his career, he has maintained his role as a physician at Ward 86 at San Francisco General Hospital, the nation’s first HIV/AIDS-specialized clinic.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation stands ready to work with Dr. Colfax, the White House, and other community partners across the country to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care for all people living with the disease, and reduce HIV-related health disparities.

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article’s content, whether in support or in opposition.]