The U.S. government response to the global impacts of HIV and tuberculosis is poised at a pivotal moment, in which we can seize the opportunity to end these devastating pandemics, or watch progress erode, infections increase, and our effective treatments compromised by growing drug resistance. Tuberculosis and HIV remain the world’s leading infectious disease killers, with tuberculosis, a curable disease, the leading cause of death for people with HIV. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV and TB plays a central role in efforts to end these impacts by supporting integrated interventions to prevent, detect and control these diseases. The membership of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association stand ready to lend their expertise and support to Dr. Hank Tomlinson, named last week to lead the division.
Dr. Tomlinson has experience in addressing the needs of populations that include gay and bisexual men and LGBT youth, with high risk for HIV and low access to health services. In the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, he worked on the transition to High Impact HIV Prevention and on the use of surveillance data to assist persons with HIV to re-engage in HIV care. He has also worked effectively as country leader in Nigeria and in the CDC’s Division of Global HIV and TB as principal deputy director. He has national, global and country level experience that will be valuable as he leads the CDC’s global responses to HIV and TB. In addition, his background at CDC in evaluating and communicating the cost-effectiveness of interventions will be valuable in the work ahead.
IDSA and HIVMA members look forward to working with Dr. Tomlinson to end the dual pandemics of HIV and TB. We call on Congress to ensure that the CDC and its Center for Global Health have the resources needed to sustain the entire portfolio of essential programs to counter these public health threats.