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Global AIDS Coordinator Nominee Goosby Testifies Before Senate Committee

President Obama’s choice for the State Department’s global AIDS coordinator position, Eric Goosby, testified on Tuesday at a confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, VOA News reports. Goosby would work to continue PEPFAR’s success, and “says he will emphasize prevention if he is confirmed by the Senate,” VOA News writes.

Goosby, who is currently CEO of the Pangea Global AIDS Foundation and a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, said, “My mission if confirmed will be to ensure that PEPFAR continues to be a visionary program, a program that continues to exceed our expectations of what can and should be provided to people in resource-poor settings.” He added, “Working closely with our global partners, we can help reclaim the lives of millions of people who would otherwise be lost to the infection.”

Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said that before PEPFAR began there were around 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa who were taking antiretroviral drugs. “Today, three times that many are being treated in Kenya alone,” he said, adding that PEPFAR includes prevention programs that aim to halt 12 million new HIV cases.

Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) who chaired the hearing said, “We cannot treat our way out of this pandemic alone. The numbers of infections continue to rise in some countries. We need to continue exploring and investing in new prevention strategies to stem the spread of HIV” (Tate, VOA news, 6/9).