WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, March 14, President Obama announced the appointment of one of the nation’s leading public health policy experts as the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). Grant Colfax will coordinate the continuing efforts of the government to reduce the number of HIV infections across the United States.

Grant Colfax, MD, was most recently Director of the HIV Prevention Section in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Dr. Colfax is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed his medical residency at the University of California, San Francisco. His work focuses on collaborating with community stakeholders to implement sustainable, evidence-based HIV prevention and treatment interventions and policies in public health settings and measuring their effectiveness. Under his leadership, San Francisco greatly expanded HIV testing and treatment support efforts. Until assuming his ONAP role, Dr. Colfax was also an NIH- and CDC-supported scientist studying HIV testing strategies, clinical trials of medications to treat substance dependence, and biomedical HIV prevention interventions.

“Grant Colfax will lead the my Administration’s continued progress in providing care and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS,” said President Obama. “Grant’s expertise will be key as we continue to face serious challenges and take bold steps to meet them. I look forward to his leadership in the months and years to come."

A component of the White House Domestic Policy Council, ONAP emphasizes prevention through wide-ranging education initiatives and helps to coordinate the care and treatment of citizens with HIV/AIDS.
 
ONAP coordinates with the National Security Council and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and works with international bodies to ensure that America’s response to the global pandemic is fully integrated with other prevention, care, and treatment efforts around the world. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative, the U.S. has made enormous progress in responding to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, working with countries heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS to help expand access to treatment, care, and prevention. 

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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