US Senate confirms new PEPFAR head

The United States Senate confirmed the appointment of Dr. John Nkengasong to be the next US Global AIDS Coordinator.  He will lead the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Currently, Dr. Nkengasong serves as the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is the first time that PEPFAR has a confirmed leader since Dr. Deborah Birx stepped down in 2020, a gap that has frustrated AIDS experts. PEPFAR's budget is US$6 billion annually, and the lack of permanent leadership came at a time when the COVID-19 crisis had a devastating impact on the HIV pandemic.

Dr. Nkengasong is a virologist from Cameroon and will be the first African-born person to lead PEPFAR. He was nominated by US President Biden to the post in September of 2021.

News report - Devex