Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today the appointment of Scott Evertz as special assistant to the Secretary to assist in further developing and implementing the department's overall strategy to fight HIV/AIDS around the world, including the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
"The Bush administration has redoubled America's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS at home and abroad," Secretary Thompson said. "Working with our world-class scientists, Scott will be an invaluable member of the department as we work to develop new solutions and improve existing treatment, prevention and research programs."
Evertz has served as the director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy since April 2001. Prior to that, he was a public policy advocate in Wisconsin for people living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS. He worked closely with then-Gov. Thompson to create one of the best service delivery systems in the nation for people living with HIV/AIDS.
While serving in the White House, Evertz conducted a nationwide listening tour in communities hardest hit by HIV/AIDS in the United States. He also visited Africa, Mexico and the Caribbean to witness firsthand the impact HIVAIDS has had in these areas.
"I look forward to working closely with Secretary Thompson and the Department of Health and Human Services as we move forward on international AIDS programs," Evertz said. "I was honored to participate in the Rose Garden announcement of the United States' first contribution to the Global Fund with the President and Secretary General Kofi Annan last year, and I am thrilled to be able to help the administration address the global pandemic in this new capacity."
The United States has solidified its leadership role in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS under President Bush's bold and visionary agenda that includes an unmatched commitment to research, prevention and treatment initiatives -- both at home and abroad.
- Overall HIV/AIDS spending by the U.S. government has increased from $14.2 billion in fiscal year 2001 to a proposed $16.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. That includes an increase in international funding from $726 million to $1.3 billion over the same period.
- The President's NIH budget request for fiscal year 2003 includes $2.8 billion for HIV research -- a 9.9 percent increase over fiscal year 2002. Additionally, over the five-year doubling of the NIH budget, funding for AIDS vaccine research has increased by 185 percent.
- President Bush's leadership includes making the first pledge of $200 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the spring of 2001 -- before the fund had even been created. Since then, the United States' commitment has risen to $500 million, and the United States was the first nation to make a second pledge to the fund.
- Just last month, President Bush introduced a new $500 million International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative, designed to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to infants. It is expected to reach 6 million and treat 1 million women a year, resulting in a reduction of mother-to-child transmission by 40 percent within five years in 12 African countries and the Caribbean.
"In terms of time, programs and money, the level of commitment by this administration to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS is unprecedented," Secretary Thompson said. "I look forward to Scott's leadership and ideas as we work to ensure that American resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible, both at home and overseas." ###
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